Chiral THz metamaterial with tunable optical activity
Chiral THz metamaterial with tunable optical activity Optical activity in chiral metamaterials is demonstrated in simulation and shows actively tunable giant polarization rotation at THz frequencies. Electric current distributions show that pure chirality is achieved by our bi-Iayer chiral metamaterial design. The chirality can be optically controlled by illumination with near-infrared light. Optical activity, occurring in chiral materials such as DNA, sugar and many other bio-molecules, is a phenomenon of great importance to many areas of science including molecular biology, analytical chemistry, optoelectronics and display applications. This phenomenon is well understood at an effective medium level as a magnetic/electric moment excited by the electric/magnetic field of the incident electromagnetic (EM) wave. Usually, natural chiral materials exhibit very weak optical activity e.g. a gyrotropic quartz crystal. The optical activity of chiral metamaterials, however, can be five orders of magnitude stronger. Chiral metamaterials are made of sub-wavelength resonators lacking symmetry planes. The asymmetry allows magnetic moments to be excited by the electric field of the incident EM wave and vice versa. Recently, chiral metamaterials have been demonstrated and lead to prospects in giant optical activity, circular dichroism, negative refraction and reversing the Casmir force. These fascinating optical properties require strong chirality, which may be designed through the microscopic structure more »
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