Signatures of material and optical chirality: Origins and measures

David S. Bradshaw, Jamie M. Leeder, Matthew Coles, David L. Andrews

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Chirality in materials and light is of abiding interest across a broad range of scientific disciplines. This article discusses present and emerging issues in relation to molecular and optical chirality, also including some important developments in chiral metamaterials. Quantifying the chirality of matter or light leads to issues concerning the most appropriate measures, such as a helicity parameter for specific chiral chromophores and technical measures of light chirality. An optical helicity and chirality density depend on a difference between the numbers of left- and right-handed photons in a beam. In connection with circularly polarized luminescence, adoption of the Stokes parameter to spontaneous emission from chiral molecules invites critical attention. Modern spectroscopic techniques are often based on the different response arising from left-handed circularly polarized light compared to right-handed light. This dissimilarity can be exploited as a foundation for the separation of chiral molecules, promising new avenues of application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106–110
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Early online date7 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2015

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