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Demonstration of broadband topological slow light
preprintposted on 2023-06-08, 12:57 authored by Fujia Chen, Haoran Xue, Yuang Pan, Maoren Wang, Yuanhan Hu, Li Zhang, Qiaolu Chen, Song Han, Gui-geng Liu, Zhen Gao, Peiheng Zhou, Wenyan Yin, Hongsheng Chen, Baile Zhang, Yihao Yang
Slow-light devices are able to significantly enhance light-matter interaction due to the reduced group velocity of light, but a very low group velocity is usually achieved in a narrow bandwidth, accompanied by extreme sensitivity to imperfections that causes increased disorder-induced attenuation. Recent theories have suggested an ideal solution to this problem - unidirectional chiral photonic states, previously discovered in structures known as photonic topological insulators, not only resist backscattering from imperfections but can also be slowed down in the entire topological bandgap with multiple windings in the Brillouin zone. Here, we report on the experimental demonstration of broadband topological slow light in a photonic topological insulator. When coupled with periodic resonators that form flat bands, the chiral photonic states can wind many times around the Brillouin zone, achieving an ultra-low group velocity in the entire topological bandgap. This demonstration extends the scope of topological photonics into slow light engineering and opens a unique avenue in the dispersion manipulation of chiral photonic states.