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SPIE Reviews • Open Access

Negatively refracting chiral metamaterials: a review

Paper Abstract

Chirality extends the class of negatively refracting metamaterials by endowing a richer palette of electromagnetic properties. Chiral metamaterials can support negative refraction, which must be assessed in light of the closely related phenomenons of negative phase velocity and counterposition. Two categories of chiral metamaterials are being examined these days: (a) homogeneous and homogenizable chiral materials, as exemplified by isotropic chiral materials, Faraday chiral materials, and materials with simultaneous mirror-conjugated and racemic chirality characteristics; and (b) structurally chiral materials, as exemplified by helicoidal bianisotropic materials and ambichiral materials. The planewave response of a half-space occupied by a chiral metamaterial is complex, and important distinctions between negative refraction, negative phase velocity, and counterposition emerge.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2010
PDF: 29 pages
SR 1(1) 018003 doi: 10.1117/6.0000003
Published in: SPIE Reviews Volume 1, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Tom G. Mackay, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


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