Abstract

The propagation of electromagnetic surface waves guided by the planar interface of two isotropic chiral materials, namely materials A and B, was investigated by numerically solving the associated canonical boundary-value problem. Isotropic chiral material B was modeled as a homogenized composite material, arising from the homogenization of an isotropic chiral component material and an isotropic achiral, nonmagnetic, component material characterized by the relative permittivity εaB. Changes in the nature of the surface waves were explored as the volume fraction faB of the achiral component material varied. Surface waves are supported only for certain ranges of faB; within these ranges only one surface wave, characterized by its relative wavenumber q, is supported at each value of faB. For Re{εaB}>0, as |Im{εaB}| increases surface waves are supported for larger ranges of faB and |Im{q}| for these surface waves increases. For Re{εaB}<0, as Im{εaB} increases the ranges of faB that support surface-wave propagation are almost unchanged but Im{q} for these surface waves decreases. The surface waves supported when Re{εaB}<0 may be regarded as akin to surface-plasmon-polariton waves, but those supported for when Re{εaB}>0 may not.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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