Generation of optical chirality patterns with plane waves, evanescent waves and surface plasmon waves.

Research paper by Jiwei J Zhang, Shiang-Yu SY Huang, Zhan-Hong ZH Lin, Jer-Shing JS Huang

Indexed on: 14 Mar '20Published on: 03 Mar '20Published in: Optics express


We systematically investigate the generation of optical chirality patterns by applying the superposition of two waves in three scenarios, namely free-space plane waves, evanescent waves of totally reflected light at dielectric interface and propagating surface plasmon waves on a metallic surface. In each scenario, the general analytical solution of the optical chirality pattern is derived for different polarization states and propagating directions of the two waves. The analytical solutions are verified by numerical simulations. Spatially structured optical chirality patterns can be generated in all scenarios if the incident polarization states and propagation directions are correctly chosen. Optical chirality enhancement can be obtained from the constructive interference of free-space circularly polarized light or enhanced evanescent waves of totally reflected light. Surface plasmon waves do not provide enhanced optical chirality unless the near-field intensity enhancement is sufficiently high. The structured optical chirality patterns may find applications in chirality sorting, chiral imaging and circular dichroism spectroscopy.