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Gold Helix Photonic Metamaterial as Broadband Circular Polarizer

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Science  18 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5947, pp. 1513-1515
DOI: 10.1126/science.1177031

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Corkscrew Polarizer

Strong optical activity, measured in terms of a material's ability to polarize light, usually requires a material several hundred wavelengths thick. Gansel et al. (p. 1513, published online 20 August; see the cover) show that the tunable electromagnetic response of metamaterials may offer a route to reduce the amount of material required for strongly optically active materials. Based on the standard metamaterials design of the splitring resonator, photolithography was used to define an array of three-dimensional gold nanocorkscrews. Just a single wavelength thickness of the corkscrew design was required for a circular polarizer operating over an octave of bandwidth.

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