All-dielectric chiral-field-enhanced Raman optical activity

Nat Commun. 2021 May 24;12(1):3062. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23364-w.


Raman optical activity (ROA) is effective for studying the conformational structure and behavior of chiral molecules in aqueous solutions and is advantageous over X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in sample preparation and cost performance. However, ROA signals are inherently minuscule; 3-5 orders of magnitude weaker than spontaneous Raman scattering due to the weak chiral light-matter interaction. Localized surface plasmon resonance on metallic nanoparticles has been employed to enhance ROA signals, but suffers from detrimental spectral artifacts due to its photothermal heat generation and inability to efficiently transfer and enhance optical chirality from the far field to the near field. Here we demonstrate all-dielectric chiral-field-enhanced ROA by devising a silicon nanodisk array and exploiting its dark mode to overcome these limitations. Specifically, we use it with pairs of chemical and biological enantiomers to show >100x enhanced chiral light-molecule interaction with negligible artifacts for ROA measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't