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Chiral metallic nanostructures can generate evanescent fields which are more highly twisted than circularly polarized light. However, it remains unclear how best to exploit this phenomenon, hindering the optimal utilization of chiral electromagnetic fields. Here, inspired by optical antenna theory, we address this challenge by introducing chiral antenna parameters: the chirality flux efficiency and the chiral antenna aperture. These quantities, which are based on chirality conservation, quantify the generation and dissipation of chiral light. We then present a label-free experimental technique, chirality flux spectroscopy, which measures the chirality flux efficiency, providing valuable information on chiral near fields in the far field. This principle is verified theoretically and experimentally with two-dimensionally chiral coupled nanorod antennas, for which we show that chiral near and far fields are linearly dependent on the magnetoelectric polarizability. This elementary system confirms our concept to quantify chiral electromagnetic fields and paves the way towards broadly tunable chiral optical applications including ultrasensitive detection of molecular chirality or optical information storage and transfer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Nano letters
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