Topological states of light and matter in systems with trivial band structures
Topological states of light and matter don’t always require complicated lattice band structures. In their joint work, ML4Q members Julian Schmitt and Stefan Linkden were able to reverse this conventional paradigm and induce and control topological edge states by tailoring the contact to an environment! The experimental work on plasmon polariton waveguides demonstrating such states and the advantage of using topology to guide light appeared last week in Physical Review Letters (https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.083801).
Abstract: Robust states emerging at the boundary of a system constitute a hallmark for topological band structures. Other than in closed systems, topologically protected states can occur even in systems with a trivial band structure, if exposed to suitably modulated losses. Here, we study the dissipation-induced emergence of a topological band structure in a non-Hermitian one-dimensional lattice system, realized by arrays of plasmonic waveguides with tailored loss. We obtain direct evidence for a topological edge state that resides in the center of the band gap. By tuning dissipation and hopping, the formation and breakdown of an interface state between topologically distinct regions is demonstrated.
Publication: Observation of a Topological Edge State Stabilized by Dissipation. Helene Wetter, Michael Fleischhauer, Stefan Linden, and Julian Schmitt Phys. Rev. Lett. 131, 083801 – Published 24 August 2023; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.083801
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