OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 25, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2008
  • pp: 55–63

Chiral nihility effects on energy flow in chiral materials

Cheng-Wei Qiu, Nawaz Burokur, Saïd Zouhdi, and Le-Wei Li  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 55-63 (2008)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (2277 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The propagation of electromagnetic plane waves in an isotropic chiral medium is characterized, and a special interest is shown in chiral nihility and the effects of chirality on energy transmission. In particular, the wave impedance is matched to that of free space. Moreover, the refractive index n is also matched in impedance to that of free space when an appropriate value of the chirality is chosen. A “chiral nihility” medium is explored in which both the permittivity and the permeability tend to zero. Some specific case studies of chiral nihility are presented, and Brewster angles are found to cover an extremely wide range. The E-field distributions in these different cases where the chiral slab is placed in free space are analyzed by using the appropriate constitutive relations. It is shown from numerical calculations that one can obtain some critical characteristics of the effects of chirality on energy transmission and reflection, such as transparency and power tunneling.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.1585) Materials : Chiral media
(260.2065) Physical optics : Effective medium theory

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: August 28, 2007
Revised Manuscript: October 19, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: October 22, 2007
Published: December 5, 2007

Cheng-Wei Qiu, Nawaz Burokur, Saïd Zouhdi, and Le-Wei Li, "Chiral nihility effects on energy flow in chiral materials," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 55-63 (2008)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. V. G. Veselago, "The electrodynamics of substances with simultaneously negative values of ϵ and μ," Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509-514 (1968). [CrossRef]
  2. J. B. Pendry, A. J. Holden, W. J. Stewart, and I. Youngs, "Extremely low frequency plasmons in metallic meso structures," Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 4773-4776 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. G. Fedorov, S. I. Maslovski, A. V. Dorofeenko, A. P. Vinogradov, I. A. Ryzhikov, and S. A. Tretyakov, "Sub-wavelength imaging: resolution enhancement using metal wire gratings," Phys. Rev. B 73, 035409 (2006). [CrossRef]
  4. C. W. Qiu, H. Y. Yao, S. Zouhdi, L. W. Li, and M. S. Leong, "On the constitutive relations of G-chiral media and the possibility to realize negative-index media," Microwave Opt. Technol. Lett. 48, 2534-2538 (2006). [CrossRef]
  5. H. Y. Yao, L. W. Li, C. W. Qiu, Q. Wu, and Z. N. Chen, "Properties of electromagnetic waves in a multilayered cylinder filled with double negative and positive materials," Radio Sci. 42, 2006RS003509 (2006).
  6. J. B. Pendry, "Negative refraction makes a perfect lens," Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3966-3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. J. B. Pendry, A. J. Holden, D. J. Robbins, and W. J. Stewart, "Magnetism from conductors and enhanced nonlinear phenomena," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 47, 2075-2084 (1999). [CrossRef]
  8. R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, and S. Schult, "Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction," Science 292, 77-79 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. N. Grigorenko, A. K. Geim, H. F. Gleeson, Y. Zhang, A. A. Firsov, I. Y. Khrushchev, and J. Petrovic, "Nanofabricated media with negative permeability at visible frequencies," Nature 438, 335-338 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. J. B. Pendry, "A chiral route to negative refraction," Science 306, 1353-1355 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. C. W. Qiu, H. Y. Yao, L. W. Li, S. Zouhdi, and T. S. Yeo, "Routes to left-handed materials by magnetoelectric couplings," Phys. Rev. B 75, 245214 (2007). [CrossRef]
  12. X. Yang, T. X. Wu, and D. L. Jaggard, "Physical properties of wave scattering by a chiral grating," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 2109-2116 (2004). [CrossRef]
  13. Q. Cheng and T. J. Cui, "Reflection and refraction properties of plane waves on the interface of uniaxially anisotropic chiral media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 3203-3207 (2006). [CrossRef]
  14. W. S. Weiglhofer and A. Lakhtakia, "Causality and natural optical activity (chirality)," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 385-386 (1996). [CrossRef]
  15. S. Tretyakov, A. Sihvola, and L. Jylhä, "Backward-wave regime and negative refraction in chiral composites," Photonics Nanostruct. Fundam. Appl. 3, 107-115 (2005). [CrossRef]
  16. F. A. Pinheiro and B. A. van Tiggelen, "Light transport in chiral and magnetochiral random media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 99-105 (2003). [CrossRef]
  17. M. P. Silverman and R. B. Sohn, "Effects of circular birefringence on light propagation and reflection," Am. J. Phys. 54, 69-76 (1986). [CrossRef]
  18. S. Bassiri, C. H. Papas, and N. Engheta, "Electromagnetic wave propagation through a dielectric-chiral interface and through a chiral slab," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 1450-1459 (1988). [CrossRef]
  19. S. Tretyakov, I. Nefedov, A. Sihvola, S. Maslovski, and C. Simovski, "Waves and energy in chiral nihility," J. Electromagn. Waves Appl. 17, 695-706 (2003). [CrossRef]
  20. I. V. Lindell, A. H. Sihvola, S. A. Tretyakov, and A. J. Viitanen, Electromagnetic Waves in Chiral and Bi-isotropic Media (Artech House, 1994).
  21. C. W. Qiu, L. W. Li, H. Y. Yao, and S. Zouhdi, "Properties of Faraday chiral media: green dyadics and negative refraction," Phys. Rev. B 74, 115110 (2006). [CrossRef]
  22. C. W. Qiu, H. Y. Yao, L. W. Li, S. Zouhdi, and T. S. Yeo, "Backward waves in magnetoelectrically chiral media: propagation, impedance and negative refraction," Phys. Rev. B 75, 155120 (2007). [CrossRef]
  23. M. P. Silverman, "Reflection and refraction at the surface of a chiral medium: comparison of gyrotropic constitutive relations invariant or noninvariant under a duality transformation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 830-837 (1986). [CrossRef]
  24. S. Zouhdi, "Étude des milieux chiraux aux fréquences micro-ondes. Calcul des paraméters constitutifs. Application aux motifs chiraux plans," Thèse de Doctorat (l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 1994).
  25. A. Lakhtakia, Beltrami Fields in Chiral Media, Vol. 2 of World Scientific Series in Contemporary Chemical Physics (World Scientific, 1994). [CrossRef]
  26. J. A. Stratton, Electromagnetic Theory (McGraw-Hill, 1941).
  27. M. Born, Optik (Springer-Verlag, 1930).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited