We suggest that electromagnetic chirality, generally displayed by 3D or 2D complex chiral structures, can occur in 1D patterned composites whose components are achiral. This feature is highly unexpected in a 1D system which is geometrically achiral since its mirror image can always be superposed onto it by a 180 deg rotation. We analytically evaluate from first principles the bianisotropic response of multilayered metamaterials and we show that the chiral tensor is not vanishing if the system is geometrically one-dimensional chiral; i.e., its mirror image cannot be superposed onto it by using translations without resorting to rotations. As a signature of 1D chirality, we show that 1D chiral metamaterials support optical activity and we prove that this phenomenon undergoes a dramatic nonresonant enhancement in the epsilon-near-zero regime where the magnetoelectric coupling can become dominant in the constitutive relations.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- July 2015
- New materials: theory design and fabrication;
- Optical activity;
- Physics - Optics
- 5 pages, 4 figures. Accepted for publication on Physical Review Letters