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Strain-tunable synthetic gauge fields in topological photonic graphene

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posted on 2023-01-12, 14:15 authored by Zhen-Ting Huang, Kuo-Bin Hong, Ray-Kuang Lee, Laura Pilozzi, Claudio Conti, Jhih-Sheng Wu, Tien-Chang Lu
We propose a straightforward and effective approach to design, by strain-engineering, photonic topological insulators supporting high quality factors edge states. Chiral strain-engineering creates opposite synthetic gauge fields in two domains resulting in Landau levels with the same energy spacing but different topological numbers. The boundary of the two topological domains hosts robust time-reversal and spin-momentum-locked edge states, exhibiting high quality factors due to continuous strain modulation. By shaping the synthetic gauge field, we obtain a remarkable field confinement and tunability, with the strain strongly affecting the degree of localization of the edge states. Notably the two-domain design stabilizes the strain-induced topological edge state. The large potential bandwidth of the strain-engineering and the opportunity to induce the mechanical stress at the fabrication stage enables large scalability for many potential applications in photonics, such as tunable microcavities, new lasers and information processing devices, including the quantum regime.

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