Vacuum deposition of chiral sculptured thin films with high optical activity

Ian Hodgkinson, Qi Hong Wu, Ben Knight, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Kevin Robbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


We present the technique of bideposition to realize thin-film helicoidal bianisotropic mediums (TFHBM’s) that exhibit high optical activity. We show, by experiment as well as by simulation, that the optical rotation produced by these chiral sculptured thin films is roughly proportional to the square of the local linear birefringence. Experimental measurements on bideposited TFHBM’s of titanium oxide yield a typical value of 5·/μm for the effective specific rotation in the short-wavelength regime; the corresponding value determined for the standard unideposited TFHBM’s is 1·/μm. Both types of TFHBM’s are highly optically active in comparison with quartz, fluorite films, and cholesteric liquid crystals. Bideposited TFHBM’s will lend themselves to many different types of optical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-649
Number of pages8
JournalApplied optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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