Demonstration of Optical Activity in Metamaterials - Intrinsic and Extrinsic Chirality

Stefan Hück, Andreas Bülow, Jasmin Bentler

project report

In an earlier project we were able to demonstrate that metamaterials can have a negative index of refraction. The goal of this "Jugend forscht"-project is the study of chiral properties of metamaterials. For natural materials, chirality has been an important area of research for many decades. We hope that metamaterials will lead us to interesting findings on chirality.

Based on different metamaterial structures we were able to show in the microwave part of the spectrum that chiral metamaterials can exhibit much stronger optical activity than natural materials. Additionally, they have the advantage that all design parameters can be chosen freely.

We are particularly proud that we were able to demonstrate experimentally that even achiral metamaterials can exhibit chiral properties for suitable experimental arrangements. Such materials do not exist in nature! The future will show which technological applications this special property of metamaterials will yield.

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