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Circular dichroism in biological hotonic Crystals and Cubic Chiral Nets

Saba, M., Thiel, M., Turner, M.D., Hyde, S.T., Gu, M., Grosse-Brauckmann, K., Neshev, D.N., Mecke, K. and Schröder-Turk, G.E. (2011) Circular dichroism in biological hotonic Crystals and Cubic Chiral Nets. Physical Review Letters, 106 (10).

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Nature provides impressive examples of chiral photonic crystals, with the notable example of the cubic so-called srs network (the label for the chiral degree-three network modeled on SrSi2) or gyroid structure realized in wing scales of several butterfly species. By a circular polarization analysis of the band structure of such networks, we demonstrate strong circular dichroism effects: The butterfly srs microstructure, of cubic I4132 symmetry, shows significant circular dichroism for blue to ultraviolet light, that warrants a search for biological receptors sensitive to circular polarization. A derived synthetic structure based on four like-handed silicon srs nets exhibits a large circular polarization stop band of a width exceeding 30%. These findings offer design principles for chiral photonic devices.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Physical Society
Copyright: © 2011 American Physical Society
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