Light pressure on chiral sculptured thin films

Benjamin M. Ross, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Sculptured thin films (STFs) are porous thin films manufactured by physical vapor deposition processes, and possess a morphology that is engineered at the nanoscale. When a circularly polarized plane wave is obliquely incident on a chiral STF, the Maxwell stress dyadic exhibits a decreasing periodic variation across the thickness of the film. Normal and tangential surface tractions exist on the two faces of the chiral STF, as well as a net normal pressure across the film. These stresses are affected by the incidence angle of light, and are maximized when (i) the incident plane wave and the chiral STF are co-handed, (ii) the wavelength falls within a regime called the Bragg regime, (iii) the ratio of film thickness to the structural period of the chiral STF reaches a saturation value, (iv) the deviation from normal incidence is small, (v) the loss factor in the chiral STF is as low as possible, and (vi) the vapor incidence angle is optimally chosen during film deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Metamaterials
StatePublished - 2007
EventPhotonic Metamaterials - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 26 2007Aug 28 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPhotonic Metamaterials
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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