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Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 10;5:3577. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4577.

Optofluidic sorting of material chirality by chiral light.

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Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, Laboratoire Ondes et Matière d'Aquitaine, 351 cours de la libération, F-33400 Talence, France.


The lack of mirror symmetry, chirality, plays a fundamental role in physics, chemistry and life sciences. The passive separation of entities that only differ by their handedness without need of a chiral material environment remains a challenging task with attractive scientific and industrial benefits. To date, only a few experimental attempts have been reported and remained limited down to the micron scale, most of them relying on hydrodynamical forces associated with the chiral shape of the micro-objects to be sorted. Here we experimentally demonstrate that material chirality can be passively sorted in a fluidic environment by chiral light owing to spin-dependent optical forces without chiral morphology prerequisite. This brings a new twist to the state-of-the-art optofluidic toolbox and the development of a novel kind of passive integrated optofluidic sorters able to deal with molecular scale entities is envisioned.


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