We investigate the properties of optical fibres made from chiral materials, in which a contrast in only optical rotation forms the waveguide, rather than a contrast in the refractive index; we refer to such structures as pure chiral fibres. We present a mathematical formulation for solving the modes of circularly symmetric examples of such fibres and examine the guidance and polarisation properties of pure chiral step-index, Bragg and photonic crystal fibre designs. Their behaviour is shown to differ for left-and right-hand circular polarisation, allowing circular polarisations to be isolated and/or guided by different mechanisms, as well as differing from equivalent non-chiral fibres. The strength of optical rotation required in each case is quantified.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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