As seen under the objective lens of a microscope, Rice University researchers discovered that circularly polarized light — right-handed circularly polarized (RCP) is shown here — had the ability to dramatically modify the plasmonic output of C-shaped gold nanoparticles. The light input triggered the modification by shifting the phase relationship of transverse and longitudinal waves in an evanescent field exciting the particle. That in turned controlled the level of plasmonic response. The letter k represents the direction of light input on the particle after it passes through a prism. (Credit: Link Research Group/Rice University)

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