The Faraday effect is a phenomenon in which the plane of polarization of light rotates as it passes through a medium in a magnetic field. He
was first described in 1845 by Michael Faraday.
The effect “works” for light with linear polarization – in this case, the electric vector of the propagating wave, while oscillating, always remains in the same plane, which passes through the direction of wave propagation.
The severity of the Faraday effect is described by the so-called Verdet constant, which characterizes the intensity of rotation of the plane of polarization with increasing magnetic field and material thickness. Until now, for all studied substances, the value of the Verdet constant did not exceed 104 radians per tesla (a unit of measurement of magnetic field induction).
The authors of the new work, using a very well-purified semiconductor and light of a certain wavelength, showed that for a film of mercury telluride, the Verdet constant is about 106 radians per tesla. A film with a thickness of about 70 nanometers rotated the plane of polarization of light by 15 degrees, and with an increase in thickness to one micrometer, this value increased
up to 45 degrees.
Experts believe that the property of mercury telluride discovered by them can be used to create optical transistors – analogs of ordinary transistors, in which light is used instead of electric current.
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