The linearly polarizing beamsplitter1, 2 is a widely used optical component in photonics. It is typically built from a linearly birefringent crystal such as calcite, which has different critical reflection angles for s- and p-polarized light3, leading to the transmission of one linear polarization and angled reflection of the other. However, the analogue for splitting circularly polarized light has yet to be demonstrated due to a lack of natural materials with sufficient circular birefringence. Here, we present a nano-engineered photonic-crystal chiral beamsplitter that fulfils this task. It consists of a prism featuring a nanoscale chiral gyroid network4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and can separate left- and right-handed circularly polarized light in the wavelength region around 1.615 µm. The structure is fabricated using a galvo-dithered direct laser writing method and could become a useful component for developing integrated photonic circuits that provide a new form of polarization control.
At a glance
- On a method of so far increasing the divergency of the two rays in calcareous-spar, that only one image may be seen at a time. Edinb. New Philos. J. 6, 83–84 (1829).
- Über einen polarisator. Rep. Exptl-Physik 16, 570–573 (1880).
- 2001). Handbook of Optics (McGraw-Hill,
- 1970). Infinite Periodic Minimal Surfaces Without Self-Intersections (NASA,
- The structure of SrSi2: a crystal of class O(432). Acta Crystallogr. B 28, 2326–2328 (1972).
- The chiral structure of porous chitin within the wing-scales of Callophrys rubi. J. Struct. Biol. 174, 290–295 (2011). et al.
- Circular dichroism in biological photonic crystals and cubic chiral nets. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 103902 (2011). et al.
- Fabrication and characterization of three-dimensional biomimetic chiral composites. Opt. Express 19, 10001–10008 (2011). , &
- On the origin of chirality in nanoplasmonic gyroid metamaterials. Adv. Mater. 25, 612–617 (2012). , , &
- A 3D optical metamaterial made by self‐assembly. Adv. Mater. 24, OP23–OP27 (2012). et al.
- Giant optical activity in quasi-two-dimensional planar nanostructures. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 227401 (2005). et al.
- Strong optical activity from twisted-cross photonic metamaterials. Opt. Lett. 34, 2501–2503 (2009). et al.
- Circular dichroism of planar chiral magnetic metamaterials. Opt. Lett. 32, 856–858 (2007). , , &
- Metamaterial with negative index due to chirality. Phys. Rev. B 79, 035407 (2009). et al.
- A chiral route to negative refraction. Science 306, 1353–1355 (2004).
- Light-driven nanoscale plasmonic motors. Nature Nanotech. 5, 570–573 (2010). , , , &
- Polarization stop bands in chiral polymeric three-dimensional photonic crystals. Adv. Mater. 19, 207–210 (2007). et al.
- Three-dimensional chiral photonic superlattices. Opt. Lett. 35, 166–168 (2010). , , &
- Polarization gaps in spiral photonic crystals. Opt. Express 13, 8083–8088 (2005). &
- Three-dimensional bi-chiral photonic crystals. Adv. Mater. 21, 4680–4682 (2009). , , &
- Lasing in a three-dimensional photonic crystal of the liquid crystal blue phase II. Nature Mater. 1, 111–113 (2002). , , &
- Polymer-stabilized liquid crystal blue phases. Nature Mater. 1, 64–68 (2002). , , , &
- Liquid crystal blue phases with a wide temperature range. Nature 436, 997–1000 (2005). &
- Gyroid cuticular structures in butterfly wing scales: biological photonic crystals. J. R. Soc. Interface 5, 85–94 (2008). &
- Structure, function, and self-assembly of single network gyroid (I4132) photonic crystals in butterfly wing scales. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 11676–11681 (2010). et al.
- Inorganic chiral 3D photonic crystals with bicontinuous gyroid structure replicated from butterfly wing scales. Chem. Commun. 47, 9873–9875 (2011). , &
- Three-dimensional focal spots related to two-photon excitation. Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 3673–3675 (2002). , &
- Axial gain resolution in optical sectioning fluorescence microscopy by shaded-ring filters. Opt. Express 11, 1740–1745 (2003). , , &
- Generation of an axially super-resolved quasi-spherical focal spot using an amplitude-modulated radially polarized beam. Opt. Lett. 36, 2471–2473 (2011). , &
- Fabrication and characterization of silicon woodpile photonic crystals with a complete bandgap at telecom wavelengths. Opt. Lett. 35, 1094–1096 (2010). et al.
- Wide-angle stop-gap chalcogenide photonic crystals generated by direct multiple-line laser writing. Appl. Phys. B 105, 847–850 (2011). , , &
- Photonic quantum technologies. Nature Photon. 3, 687–695 (2009). , &
- Three‐dimensional metallic photonic crystals with optical bandgaps. Adv. Mater. 24, 1101–1105 (2012). et al.