Interference-contrast optical activity: a new technique for probing the chirality of anisotropic samples and more

R. P. Cameron, U. Vogl, N. Trautmann

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Abstract

We introduce interference-contrast optical activity (ICOA) as a new technique for probing the chirality of anisotropic samples and more. ICOA could underpin a new class of ‘chiral microscopes’, with potential applications spanning the range of chirality and beyond. Two possible versions of ICOA are described explicitly; one designed to probe the optical rotation of a transparent sample regardless of the sample’s linear birefringence (ICOA-OR) and another designed to probe gradients in the optical rotation of a transparent sample (ICOA-GOR). Simulated results for α-quartz lead us to suggest that ICOA-GOR might be applied to help monitor the growth of chiral crystals in the pharmaceutical industry. Possible directions for future research are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number192201
Number of pages17
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020

Keywords

  • chirality
  • optical activity
  • polarization
  • polarimetry
  • microscopy
  • DIC

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