Imperial College London

Twisting light

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A chiral pattern under the microscope (Image: Dr Jess Wade)

A chiral pattern under the microscope (Image: Dr Jess Wade)

New insights into the "handedness" of materials.

Ultra-thin polymer films are materials that could be used in new technologies including lightweight, low-cost and flexible polarisation-sensitive light detectors, room temperature spintronic devices and high-efficiency LED displays. Many of the applications rely on the films’ ability to detect chirality – the ‘handedness’ of things such as light, which can be left- or right-polarised.

Now, researchers from Imperial College London, J. A. Woollam & Co, the University of Nottingham, the University of Barcelona, the Diamond Light Source and the Advanced Light Source have used advanced techniques to reveal how chiral phases arise in these materials, paving the way for design of future materials that optimise their chiral functionality.

Read the full paper in Nature Communications by Jessica Wade et al.: ‘Natural optical activity as the origin of the large chiroptical properties in π-conjugated polymer thin films’ 


Lisa Bushby

Lisa Bushby
Department of Physics

Jessica Wade

Jessica Wade
Department of Materials

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