Experimental observation of anomalous topological edge modes in a slowly-driven photonic lattice

Sebabrata Mukherjee, Alexander Owen Spracklen, Manuel Valiente Cifuentes, Anna Erika Elisabeth Andersson, Patrik Ohberg, Nathan Goldman, Robert R. Thomson

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Abstract

Topological quantum matter can be realized by subjecting engineered systems to time-periodic modulations. In analogy with static systems, periodically-driven quantum matter can be topologically classified by topological invariants, whose non-zero value guarantees the presence of robust edge modes. In the high-frequency limit of the drive, topology is described by standard topological invariants, such as Chern numbers. Away from this limit, these topological numbers become irrelevant, and novel topological invariants must be introduced to capture topological edge transport. The corresponding edge modes were coined anomalous topological edge modes, to highlight their intriguing origin. Here, we demonstrate the experimental observation of these topological edge modes in a 2D photonic lattice, where these propagating edge states are shown to coexist with a quasi-localized bulk. Our work opens an exciting route for the exploration of topological physics in time-modulated systems operating away from the high-frequency regime.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13918
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017

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