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Journal ArticleDOI

Observation of unidirectional backscattering-immune topological electromagnetic states

08 Oct 2009-Nature (Nature Publishing Group)-Vol. 461, Iss: 7265, pp 772-775

TL;DR: It is demonstrated that, like their electronic counterparts, electromagnetic CESs can travel in only one direction and are very robust against scattering from disorder; it is found that even large metallic scatterers placed in the path of the propagating edge modes do not induce reflections.
Abstract: One of the most striking phenomena in condensed-matter physics is the quantum Hall effect, which arises in two-dimensional electron systems subject to a large magnetic field applied perpendicular to the plane in which the electrons reside. In such circumstances, current is carried by electrons along the edges of the system, in so-called chiral edge states (CESs). These are states that, as a consequence of nontrivial topological properties of the bulk electronic band structure, have a unique directionality and are robust against scattering from disorder. Recently, it was theoretically predicted that electromagnetic analogues of such electronic edge states could be observed in photonic crystals, which are materials having refractive-index variations with a periodicity comparable to the wavelength of the light passing through them. Here we report the experimental realization and observation of such electromagnetic CESs in a magneto-optical photonic crystal fabricated in the microwave regime. We demonstrate that, like their electronic counterparts, electromagnetic CESs can travel in only one direction and are very robust against scattering from disorder; we find that even large metallic scatterers placed in the path of the propagating edge modes do not induce reflections. These modes may enable the production of new classes of electromagnetic device and experiments that would be impossible using conventional reciprocal photonic states alone. Furthermore, our experimental demonstration and study of photonic CESs provides strong support for the generalization and application of topological band theories to classical and bosonic systems, and may lead to the realization and observation of topological phenomena in a generally much more controlled and customizable fashion than is typically possible with electronic systems.
Topics: Photonic crystal (54%), Quantum Hall effect (52%), Scattering (51%)
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Weyl and Dirac semimetals are three-dimensional phases of matter with gapless electronic excitations that are protected by topology and symmetry. As three-dimensional analogs of graphene, they have generated much recent interest. Deep connections exist with particle physics models of relativistic chiral fermions, and, despite their gaplessness, to solid-state topological and Chern insulators. Their characteristic electronic properties lead to protected surface states and novel responses to applied electric and magnetic fields. The theoretical foundations of these phases, their proposed realizations in solid-state systems, and recent experiments on candidate materials as well as their relation to other states of matter are reviewed.

2,328 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
28 Aug 2014-Nature Photonics
Abstract: Topological photonics is a rapidly emerging field of research in which geometrical and topological ideas are exploited to design and control the behavior of light. Drawing inspiration from the discovery of the quantum Hall effects and topological insulators in condensed matter, recent advances have shown how to engineer analogous effects also for photons, leading to remarkable phenomena such as the robust unidirectional propagation of light, which hold great promise for applications. Thanks to the flexibility and diversity of photonics systems, this field is also opening up new opportunities to realize exotic topological models and to probe and exploit topological effects in new ways. This article reviews experimental and theoretical developments in topological photonics across a wide range of experimental platforms, including photonic crystals, waveguides, metamaterials, cavities, optomechanics, silicon photonics, and circuit QED. A discussion of how changing the dimensionality and symmetries of photonics systems has allowed for the realization of different topological phases is offered, and progress in understanding the interplay of topology with non-Hermitian effects, such as dissipation, is reviewed. As an exciting perspective, topological photonics can be combined with optical nonlinearities, leading toward new collective phenomena and novel strongly correlated states of light, such as an analog of the fractional quantum Hall effect.

2,132 citations


Cites background or methods from "Observation of unidirectional backs..."

  • ...The first experiments [8] to realize the photonic analogue of the quantum Hall effect were by Wang et al....

    [...]

  • ...Starting with an introduction to the relevant topological concepts, we introduce the 2D quantum Hall phase through the stability of Dirac cones [4, 5], followed by its realizations in gyromagnetic photonic crystals [7, 8, 13], in coupled resonators [9, 10, 16] and waveguides [15], in bianisotropic metamaterials [11] and in quasicrystals [14]....

    [...]

  • ...[8] were based on a 2D square lattice photonic crystal composed of an array of gyromagnetic ferrite rods confined vertically between two metallic plates to mimic the 2D transverse magnetic (TM) modes....

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  • ..., who provided realistic material designs [7] and experimental observations [8]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
11 Apr 2013-Nature
TL;DR: This work proposes and experimentally demonstrate a photonic topological insulator free of external fields and with scatter-free edge transport—a photonic lattice exhibiting topologically protected transport of visible light on the lattice edges.
Abstract: Topological insulators are a new phase of matter, with the striking property that conduction of electrons occurs only on their surfaces. In two dimensions, electrons on the surface of a topological insulator are not scattered despite defects and disorder, providing robustness akin to that of superconductors. Topological insulators are predicted to have wide-ranging applications in fault-tolerant quantum computing and spintronics. Substantial effort has been directed towards realizing topological insulators for electromagnetic waves. One-dimensional systems with topological edge states have been demonstrated, but these states are zero-dimensional and therefore exhibit no transport properties. Topological protection of microwaves has been observed using a mechanism similar to the quantum Hall effect, by placing a gyromagnetic photonic crystal in an external magnetic field. But because magnetic effects are very weak at optical frequencies, realizing photonic topological insulators with scatter-free edge states requires a fundamentally different mechanism-one that is free of magnetic fields. A number of proposals for photonic topological transport have been put forward recently. One suggested temporal modulation of a photonic crystal, thus breaking time-reversal symmetry and inducing one-way edge states. This is in the spirit of the proposed Floquet topological insulators, in which temporal variations in solid-state systems induce topological edge states. Here we propose and experimentally demonstrate a photonic topological insulator free of external fields and with scatter-free edge transport-a photonic lattice exhibiting topologically protected transport of visible light on the lattice edges. Our system is composed of an array of evanescently coupled helical waveguides arranged in a graphene-like honeycomb lattice. Paraxial diffraction of light is described by a Schrodinger equation where the propagation coordinate (z) acts as 'time'. Thus the helicity of the waveguides breaks z-reversal symmetry as proposed for Floquet topological insulators. This structure results in one-way edge states that are topologically protected from scattering.

2,084 citations


Cites result from "Observation of unidirectional backs..."

  • ...The first observation of one-way edge states in a photonic system[7] demonstrated the lack of scattering in a microwave, magneto-optic photonic crystal with a strong, external, static magnetic field, similarly to that prescribed by Raghu and Haldane....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Iacopo Carusotto1, Cristiano Ciuti2Institutions (2)
Abstract: This article reviews recent theoretical and experimental advances in the fundamental understanding and active control of quantum fluids of light in nonlinear optical systems. In the presence of effective photon-photon interactions induced by the optical nonlinearity of the medium, a many-photon system can behave collectively as a quantum fluid with a number of novel features stemming from its intrinsically nonequilibrium nature. A rich variety of recently observed photon hydrodynamical effects is presented, from the superfluid flow around a defect at low speeds, to the appearance of a Mach-Cherenkov cone in a supersonic flow, to the hydrodynamic formation of topological excitations such as quantized vortices and dark solitons at the surface of large impenetrable obstacles. While the review is mostly focused on a specific class of semiconductor systems that have been extensively studied in recent years (planar semiconductor microcavities in the strong light-matter coupling regime having cavity polaritons as elementary excitations), the very concept of quantum fluids of light applies to a broad spectrum of systems, ranging from bulk nonlinear crystals, to atomic clouds embedded in optical fibers and cavities, to photonic crystal cavities, to superconducting quantum circuits based on Josephson junctions. The conclusive part of the article is devoted to a review of the future perspectives in the direction of strongly correlated photon gases and of artificial gauge fields for photons. In particular, several mechanisms to obtain efficient photon blockade are presented, together with their application to the generation of novel quantum phases.

1,243 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Mar 2013-Nature Materials
TL;DR: It is shown that metacrystals-superlattices of metamaterials with judiciously designed properties-provide a platform for designing topologically non-trivial photonic states, similar to those identified for condensed-matter topological insulators.
Abstract: Recent progress in understanding the topological properties of condensed matter has led to the discovery of time-reversal-invariant topological insulators. A remarkable and useful property of these materials is that they support unidirectional spin-polarized propagation at their surfaces. Unfortunately topological insulators are rare among solid-state materials. Using suitably designed electromagnetic media (metamaterials) we theoretically demonstrate a photonic analogue of a topological insulator. We show that metacrystals-superlattices of metamaterials with judiciously designed properties-provide a platform for designing topologically non-trivial photonic states, similar to those that have been identified for condensed-matter topological insulators. The interfaces of the metacrystals support helical edge states that exhibit spin-polarized one-way propagation of photons, robust against disorder. Our results demonstrate the possibility of attaining one-way photon transport without application of external magnetic fields or breaking of time-reversal symmetry. Such spin-polarized one-way transport enables exotic spin-cloaked photon sources that do not obscure each other.

1,235 citations


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Journal Article
TL;DR: An experimental investigation of magneto-transport in a high-mobility single layer of graphene observes an unusual half-integer quantum Hall effect for both electron and hole carriers in graphene.
Abstract: When electrons are confined in two-dimensional materials, quantum-mechanically enhanced transport phenomena such as the quantum Hall effect can be observed. Graphene, consisting of an isolated single atomic layer of graphite, is an ideal realization of such a two-dimensional system. However, its behaviour is expected to differ markedly from the well-studied case of quantum wells in conventional semiconductor interfaces. This difference arises from the unique electronic properties of graphene, which exhibits electron–hole degeneracy and vanishing carrier mass near the point of charge neutrality. Indeed, a distinctive half-integer quantum Hall effect has been predicted theoretically, as has the existence of a non-zero Berry's phase (a geometric quantum phase) of the electron wavefunction—a consequence of the exceptional topology of the graphene band structure. Recent advances in micromechanical extraction and fabrication techniques for graphite structures now permit such exotic two-dimensional electron systems to be probed experimentally. Here we report an experimental investigation of magneto-transport in a high-mobility single layer of graphene. Adjusting the chemical potential with the use of the electric field effect, we observe an unusual half-integer quantum Hall effect for both electron and hole carriers in graphene. The relevance of Berry's phase to these experiments is confirmed by magneto-oscillations. In addition to their purely scientific interest, these unusual quantum transport phenomena may lead to new applications in carbon-based electronic and magneto-electronic devices.

9,552 citations


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2017156