The optical activity of fabricated metallic nanostructures is investigated by complete polarimetry. While lattices decorated with nanoscale gammadia etched in thin metallic films have been described as two dimensional, planar nanostructures, they are better described as quasi-planar structures with some three dimensional character. We find that the optical activity of these structures arises not only from the dissymmetric backing by a substrate but, more importantly, from the selective rounding of the nanostructure edges. A true chiroptical response in the far-field is only allowed when the gammadia contain these non-planar features. This is demonstrated by polarimetric measurements in conjunction with electrodynamical simulations based on the discrete dipole approximation that consider non-ideal gammadia. It is also shown that subtle planar dissymmetries in gammadia are sufficient to generate asymmetric transmission of circular polarized light.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics