Letter

Miniature chiral beamsplitter based on gyroid photonic crystals

  • Nature Photonics volume 7, pages 801805 (2013)
  • doi:10.1038/nphoton.2013.233
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Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

This work was conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optics Systems (project CE110001018). M.D.T. acknowledges an Australian postgraduate award and the Cooperative Research Center for Polymers for funding. G.E.S.T. acknowledges a travel stipend by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst for a visit to Swinburne University of Technology. G.E.S.T. and M.S. acknowledge support by the Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’ funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The authors thank R. Buividas for help in cleaving the glass substrates, and M. Farsari and D. Terzaki from the IESL Foundation for Research & Technology, Greece, for providing the silicon–zirconium photoresist.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Centre for Micro-Photonics and CUDOS, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia

    • Mark D. Turner
    • , Qiming Zhang
    • , Benjamin P. Cumming
    • , Gerd E. Schröder-Turk
    •  & Min Gu
  2. CRC for Polymers, 8 Redwood Drive, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168, Australia

    • Mark D. Turner
  3. Theoretische Physik, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Staudtstrasse 7B, Erlangen, Germany

    • Matthias Saba
    •  & Gerd E. Schröder-Turk

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Contributions

M.D.T. performed the numerical simulations, structural design, direct laser writing and experimental characterization. M.S. performed theoretical calculations. Q.Z. performed experimental characterization. B.C. suggested the galvo-dithering method and performed the substrate cleaving. G.E.S.T. and M.G. participated in the design of experiments and data analysis. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Min Gu.

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