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Photonic topological insulators a beginner's introduction

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:25 authored by Dia'aaldin J. Bisharat, Robert J. Davis, Yun Zhou, Prabhakar R. Bandaru, Daniel F. Sievenpiper
Control and manipulation of electromagnetic waves has reached a new level with the recent understanding of topological states of matter. These metamaterials have the potential to revolutionize many areas in traditional electromagnetic design, from highly robust cavities to small footprint waveguides. Much of the past literature has been on the cutting edge of condensed matter physics, but there is now ample opportunity to explore their usage for practical microwave and optical devices. To assist the beginner, in this Tutorial we give a basic introduction to the essential concepts of topological phenomena in electromagnetic systems, including geometric phases, topological invariants, pseudospin states, and the integer/valley/spin quantum Hall effects. Our focus is on engineered photonic topological insulators (PTIs) in two-dimensional systems. We highlight methods for characterizing such structures and how they result in unique wave-guiding properties. In addition, we provide recipes on how to realize PTIs using photonic crystals and metasurfaces, examine differences between different types of PTIs, and discuss limitations and advantages of some of the existing enabling platforms.

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