September 2014
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Day September 1, 2014

Chiral interactions of light induced by low-dimensional dynamics in complex potentials

Sunkyu Yu, Hyun Sung Park, Xianji Piao, Bumki Min, Namkyoo Park

Chirality is a universal feature in nature, as observed in fermion interactions and DNA helicity. Much attention has been given to the chiral interactions of light, not only regarding its physical interpretation but also focusing on intriguing phenomena in excitation, absorption, generation, and refraction. Although recent progress in metamaterials and 3-dimensional writing technology has spurred artificial enhancements of optical chirality, most approaches are founded on the same principle of the mixing of electric and magnetic responses. However, due to the orthogonal form of electric and magnetic fields, intricate designs are commonly required for mixing. Here, we propose an alternative route to optical chirality, exploiting the nonmagnetic mixing of amplifying and decaying electric modes based on non-Hermitian theory. We show that a 1-dimensional helical eigenmode can exist singularly in a complex anisotropic material, in sharp contrast to the 2-dimensional eigenspaces employed in previous approaches. We demonstrate that exceptional interactions between propagating chiral waves result from this low-dimensionality, for example, one-way reflectionless chiral conversions and chirality reversal, each occurring for circular and linear polarization. Our proposal and experimental verification with complex polar meta-molecules not only provide a significant step for low-dimensional chirality, but also enable the dynamics of optical spin black hole.
Optics (physics.optics)