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Nano-camera lens reveals the hidden mirror world of molecules

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William Jones
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On the one hand…

One way to identify molecules with mirror versions – a property known as chirality – is to look at how they scatter light waves.

But current techniques for measuring polarisation involve using multiple lenses and other optical elements like beam-splitters and filters, which can degrade the image quality.

The lens is made from a layer of titanium dioxide that has been etched by a beam of electrons into rows of pillars just 600 nanometres high, sitting on top of an ordinary sheet of glass.

In a row, each rectangular pillar is at an angle to the one before it, so that the orientation of the pillars along the line seems to rotate clockwise or anticlockwise.

To test out the lens, the team took a picture of a Chrysina gloriosa, a beetle whose shell is known to reflect left-handed light above .

Journal reference: Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01897

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