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Experimental demonstration of topological slow light waveguides in valley photonic crystals

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:04 authored by Hironobu Yoshimi, Takuto Yamaguchi, Ryota Katsumi, Yasutomo Ota, Yasuhiko Arakawa, Satoshi Iwamoto
We experimentally demonstrate topological slow light waveguides in valley photonic crystals (VPhCs). We employed a bearded interface formed between two topologically-distinct VPhCs patterned in an air-bridged silicon slab. The interface supports both topological and non-topological slow light modes below the light line. By means of optical microscopy, we observed light propagation in the topological mode in the slow light regime with a group index $n_{\rm g}$ over $30$. Furthermore, we confirmed light transmission via the slow light mode even under the presence of sharp waveguide bends. In comparison between the topological and non-topological modes, we found that the topological mode exhibits much more efficient waveguiding than the trivial one, elucidating topological protection in the slow light regime. This work paves the way for exploring topological slow-light devices compatible with existing photonics technologies.

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