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

Jiwei Zhang*, Shiang Yu Huang, Zhan-Hong Lin, Jer-Shing Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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. (C) 2020 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-772
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2020




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