Experimental observation of Aharonov-Bohm cages in photonic lattices

Sebabrata Mukherjee, Marco Di Liberto, Patrik Ohberg, Robert R. Thomson, Nathan Goldman

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We report on the experimental realization of a uniform synthetic magnetic flux and the observation of Aharonov-Bohm cages in photonic lattices. Considering a rhombic array of optical waveguides, we engineer modulation-assisted tunneling processes that effectively produce non-zero magnetic flux per plaquette. This synthetic magnetic field for light can be tuned at will by varying the phase of the modulation. In the regime where half a flux quantum is realized in each plaquette, all the energy bands dramatically collapse into non-dispersive (flat) bands and all eigenstates are completely localized. We demonstrate this Aharonov-Bohm caging by studying the propagation of light in the bulk of the photonic lattice. Besides, we explore the dynamics on the edge of the lattice and discuss how the corresponding edge states can be continuously connected to the topological edge states of the Creutz ladder. Our photonic lattice constitutes an appealing platform where the interplay between engineered gauge fields, frustration, localization and topological properties can be finely studied.
Original languageEnglish
Article number075502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018


  • Aharonov-Bohm phase
  • synthetic magnetic flux for photons
  • Ultrafast Laser Inscription
  • Topological edge states
  • Localization
  • flat bands
  • optical waveguides


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