Helical lights, i.e., optical vortices with helical wavefronts and circularly polarized lights with helical electric field, widely investigated in optical tweezers, super-resolution microscopes, and optical communications, carry an orbital angular momentum owing to a phase singularity. In recent years, we and our-coworkers have discovered that their orbital angular momentum allows us to twist materials to form chiral structures on a nano-scale, where the constituent elements (melted or vaporized material) of the irradiated material receive the helicity of optical vortices, thereby forming chiral nanostructures [1-5]. Such phenomenon will enable us to provide new physical insight into laser-pioneered materials science including chiral plasmonics, chiral metamaterials as well as novel nanoscale imaging technologies for selective identification of the chirality of molecules and chemical composites. This is termed ‘Chiral Photontics’.

© 2014 Japan Society of Applied Physics, Optical Society of America

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