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Configurable topological beam splitting via antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal

Peer-Reviewed Publication

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Figure 1

image: Fig. 1 | Construction of antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal. (a) Schematic illustration of antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal. (b) The first Brillouin zone of honeycomb lattice. (c) Nonmagnetized gyromagnetic photonic crystal. (d) Uniformly magnetized gyromagnetic photonic crystal. (e) Compound magnetized gyromagnetic photonic crystal. view more 

Credit: OEA

A new publication from Opto-Electronic Science; DOI  10.29026/oes.2022.220001 overviews configurable topological beam splitting via antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal.


Topological insulators, whose bulky states are prohibited while surface/edge states are conductive and topologically protected. Especially, recent advances in topologically protected edge states have drawn growing attention in the optics and photonics community. In 2008, Raghu and Haldane first theoretically predicted that topologically protected chiral one-way edge state can be created by analogy to the integer quantum Hall effect in two-dimensional electron gas system, where the one-way edge states propagate along the opposite directions at two parallel edges of a gyromagnetic photonic crystal [Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 013904 (2008)]. In 2020, the research group of Prof. Zhi-Yuan Li from South China University of Technology theoretically proposed another intriguing case where the one-way edge states at two opposite parallel zigzag edges can propagate in the same direction, and they are called antichiral one-way edge states [Phys. Rev. B 101, 214102 (2020)]. To date, antichiral one-way edge states have been studied in various fermionic and bosonic systems, however, many of studies only focused on the demonstration of antichiral one-way transport property, and little of them touch the unique properties of antichiral topological systems and novel applications.


This article reports the construction and observation of topological beam splitting with the easily adjustable right-to-left ratio in an antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal. The splitter is compact and configurable, has high transmission efficiency, allows for multi-channel utilization, crosstalk-proof, and robust against defects and obstacles. This performance is attributed to the peculiar property that antichiral one-way edge states exist only at zigzag edge but not at armchair edge of antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal. When they combine two rectangular antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystals holding left- and right-propagating antichiral one-way edge states respectively, bidirectionally radiating one-way edge states at two parallel zigzag edges can be achieved. Finally, they design a topological beam splitting with the configurable splitting ratio easy to be adjusted by simply changing the source excitation condition. These observations can enrich the understanding of fundamental physics and expand topological photonic applications.


Article reference Chen JF, Li ZY. Configurable topological beam splitting via antichiral gyromagnetic photonic crystal. Opto-Electron Sci 1, 220001 (2022). doi: 10.29026/oes.2022.220001 

Keywords: topological photonics / one-way edge state / photonic crystal / beam splitting / topological materials

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The "Artificial Light and Acoustic Microstructure Laboratory" research team led by the world highly cited scientist Professor Li Zhi-Yuan in South China University of Technology currently has 5 professors, 4 associate professors, and 42 master, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The team is mainly engaged in the theories, experimental and applied research of micro-nano photonics and its intersection with nonlinear optics, laser technology, photophysics, quantum physics, as well as the intersection of photonic/phononic crystals, optical/acoustic metamaterials and topological physics, and other international frontiers and important national needs. Many of the team's papers were selected as ESI Hot Papers or Highly Cited Papers. The team has undertaken nearly 20 major projects for the introduction of innovative and entrepreneurial teams in Guangdong Province, key research and development projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology, key, general and youth Programs of the National Foundation of China, key research and development projects of Guangdong Province, and outstanding youth projects of Guangdong Province.

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Opto-Electronic Science (OES) is a peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary and international journal published by The Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a sister journal of Opto-Electronic Advances (OEA, IF=9.682). OES is dedicated to providing a professional platform to promote academic exchange and accelerate innovation. OES publishes articles, reviews, and letters of the fundamental breakthroughs in basic science of optics and optoelectronics.

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