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Exotic chirality-sorting optical force proposed

Transverse spin momentum of an evanescent field (such as one generated by a totally internally reflecting beam of light) can be converted to linear momentum of chiral particles. This mechanism has been proposed as a novel chirality-sorting optical force, as the direction in which it acts depends on the handed-ness of the chiral particle or medium. It has the exotic property of acting “sideways” — in a direction which is neither the direction of the field gradient nor the direction of beam propagation. This theoretical work has been published in PNAS.


Lateral chirality-sorting optical forces