Metamaterials: optical activity without chirality.

Research paper by E E Plum, X-X XX Liu, V A VA Fedotov, Y Y Chen, D P DP Tsai, N I NI Zheludev

Indexed on: 28 Apr '09Published on: 28 Apr '09Published in: Physical review letters


We report that the classical phenomenon of optical activity, which is traditionally associated with chirality (helicity) of organic molecules, proteins, and inorganic structures, can be observed in artificial planar media which exhibit neither 3D nor 2D chirality. We observe the effect in the microwave and optical parts of the spectrum at oblique incidence to regular arrays of nonchiral subwavelength metamolecules in the form of strong circular dichroism and birefringence indistinguishable from those of chiral three-dimensional media.