Abstract

Mueller matrices for waves reflected and transmitted through chiral materials are derived in terms of elements of the like- and cross-linearly polarized reflection and transmission coefficients. The diagonal-like-polarized reflection and transmission coefficients are insensitive to the chiral properties of the material, while the off-diagonal cross-polarized terms are proportional to the chiral parameter to first order. Therefore only the eight quasi-off-diagonal elements of the Mueller matrix are proportional to the chiral parameters. Since the cross-polarized coefficients are in time quadrature with respect to the like-polarized coefficients, two pairs of these quasi-off-diagonal elements are most sensitive to chirality. The waveguide modes that propagate along a chiral slab are derived. Applications are considered for the optimum detection of chiral materials.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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