High-sensitivity chiral molecular sensing with optical metasurfaces

Yang Zhao, Amir Nader Askarpour, Liuyang Sun, Jinwei Shi, Xiaoqin Li, Andrea Alù

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


Determination of the absolute handedness of single enantiomer at small quantities is essential in chiral drug developments. Here we provide theoretical insights, numerical analysis and experimental demonstrations of high sensitivity to zepto moles of chiral molecules using optical metasurfaces. We introduce a figure of merit (FoM) for metasurfaces that can be extracted from simple far-field scattering measurements at visible to near-infrared frequencies, establishing the optimal performance to detect molecular handedness. Our results experimentally show opposite signs of FoM for different molecular chirality. The properly designed metamaterial serves as an ultra-sensitive probe to enhance circular dichroism measurements at frequencies for which these signals would be otherwise undetectable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCLEO
Subtitle of host publicationQELS_Fundamental Science, CLEO_QELS 2014
PublisherOptical Society of America (OSA)
ISBN (Print)9781557529992, 9781557529992
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventCLEO: QELS_Fundamental Science, CLEO_QELS 2014 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2014Jun 13 2014

Publication series

NameOptics InfoBase Conference Papers
ISSN (Electronic)2162-2701


OtherCLEO: QELS_Fundamental Science, CLEO_QELS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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