Chirality in non-hermitian photonics

Sunkyu Yu, Xianji Piao, Namkyoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Chirality is ubiquitous in physics and biology from microscopic to macroscopic phenomena, such as fermionic interactions and DNA duplication. In photonics, chirality has traditionally represented differentiated optical responses for right and left circular polarizations. This definition of optical chirality in the polarization domain includes handedness-dependent phase velocities or optical absorption inside chiral media, which enable polarimetry for measuring the material concentration and circular dichroism spectroscopy for sensing biological or chemical enantiomers. Recently, the emerging field of non-Hermitian photonics, which explores exotic phenomena in gain or loss media, has provided a new viewpoint on chirality in photonics that is not restricted to the traditional polarization domain but is extended to other physical quantities such as the orbital angular momentum, propagation direction, and system parameter space. Here, we introduce recent milestones in chiral light-matter interactions in non-Hermitian photonics and show an enhanced degree of design freedom in photonic devices for spin and orbital angular momenta, directionality, and asymmetric modal conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Optics and Photonics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Chirality
  • Exceptional point
  • Non-Hermitian photonics
  • Parity-time symmetry


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