The possibility of chirally sensitive optical forces was recently recognised by a handful of authors, including members of the FOAM group [1,2,3].

RPC, AMY and a collaborator were the first to show that structured light in the form of one-dimensional helicity fringes [4] can give rise to a purely discriminatory optical force for chiral molecules and that such forces might form the basis of chiral matter-wave interferometry (CMWI) [1,2,3]. RPC and collaborators have since shown how to produce two- and even three-dimensional helicity lattices [5]. See also the review articles [6,7].

RPC, AMY and DM are continuing to develop the theory of chiral optical forces, focusing in particular on the importance of rotational states and the experimental demonstration of CMWI with Dr J P Cotter at Imperial College, London. Potential applications for CMWI include absolute measurements of enantiomeric excess.


  1. R. P. Cameron, S. M. Barnett and A. M. Yao, New Journal of Physics 16, 013020 (2014).
  2. R. P. Cameron, A. M. Yao and S. M. Barnett, Journal of Physical Chemistry A 118, 3472 (2014).
  3. R. P. Cameron, On the angular momentum of light, University of Glasgow PhD Thesis (2014).
  4. R. P. Cameron, S. M. Barnett and A. M. Yao, Journal of Modern Optics 61, 25 (2014).
  5. K. C. van Kruining, R. P. Cameron and J. B. Götte, Optica 5, 1091-1098 (2018).
  6. R. P. Cameron, J. B. Götte, S. M. Barnett and A. M. Yao, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 375, 20150433 (2016).
  7. V. Marichez, A. Tassoni, R. P. Cameron, S. M. Barnett, R. Eichorn, C. Genet and T. M. Hermans, Soft Matter 15, 4593 (2019).