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Fermionic time-reversal symmetry in a photonic topological insulator.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Fermionic time-reversal symmetry in a photonic topological insulator."

Much of the recent attention directed towards topological insulators is motivated by their hallmark feature of protected chiral edge states. In electronic (or fermionic) topological insulators, these states originate from time-reversal symmetry and allow carriers with opposite spin-polarization to propagate in opposite directions at the edge of an insulating bulk. By contrast, photonic (or bosonic) systems are generally assumed to be precluded from supporting edge states that are intrinsically protected by time-reversal symmetry. Here, we experimentally demonstrate counter-propagating chiral states at the edge of a time-reversal-symmetric photonic waveguide structure. The pivotal step in our approach is the design of a Floquet driving protocol that incorporates effective fermionic time-reversal symmetry, enabling the realization of the photonic version of an electronic topological insulator. Our findings allow for fermionic properties to be harnessed in bosonic systems, thereby offering alternative opportunities for photonics as well as acoustics, mechanical waves and cold atoms.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Nature materials
ISSN: 1476-1122
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