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Monday, February 24, 2014

Mechanical separation of chiral dipoles by chiral light

Antoine Canaguier-Durand, James A Hutchison, Cyriaque Genet1 and Thomas W Ebbesen

We calculate optical forces and torques exerted on a chiral dipole by chiral light fields and reveal genuine chiral forces in combining the chiral contents of both light field and dipolar matter. Here, the optical chirality is characterized in a general way through the definition of optical chirality density and chirality flow. We show, in particular, that both terms have mechanical effects associated, respectively, with reactive and dissipative components of the chiral forces. Remarkably, these chiral force components are directly related to standard observables: optical rotation for the reactive component and circular dichroism for the dissipative one. As a consequence, the resulting forces and torques are dependent on the enantiomeric form of the chiral dipole. This suggests promising strategies for using chiral light forces to mechanically separate chiral objects according to their enantiomeric form.

DOI
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