Surface Brillouin Scattering

  • Arthur G. EveryEmail author
  • J. Darrell Comins
Reference work entry


This chapter provides a broad introductory overview of surface Brillouin scattering, a noncontact optical technique for probing the surface dynamics of solids, and thereby obtaining information about their near-surface mechanical properties. It is of particular use in studying solids whose surfaces are modified in some way, such as by the presence of a thin surface coating or the effects of radiation damage. The setup used for doing the measurements and the equipment requirements are described. The sought-after information on the surface properties is extracted from the small fraction of the incident light which undergoes a frequency shift on being scattered. Multipass Fabry-Pérot interferometry is used to resolve this component. The mechanisms for the light scattering are explained and the methods used for data analysis and recovery of elastic constants from the measured data are set out. Finally, a number of applications of technological importance are reviewed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Physics, Materials Physics Research Institute and DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong MaterialsUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ida Nathan
    • 1
  • Norbert Meyendorf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  2. 2.Center for Nondestructive EvaluationIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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