"A three-dimensional photonic topological insulator using a two-dimensional ring resonator lattice with a synthetic frequency dimension"

Qian Lin: Xiao-Qi Sun, Meng Xiao, Shou-Cheng Zhang, Shanhui Fan; Science Advances, 10/19/18.

Additional Authors: Xiao-Qi Sun, Meng Xiao, Shou-Cheng Zhang, Shanhui Fan

Abstract:

In the development of topological photonics, achieving three-dimensional topological insulators is of notable interest since it enables the exploration of new topological physics with photons and promises novel photonic devices that are robust against disorders in three dimensions. Previous theoretical proposals toward three-dimensional topological insulators use complex geometries that are challenging to implement. On the basis of the concept of synthetic dimension, we show that a two-dimensional array of ring resonators, which was previously demonstrated to exhibit a two-dimensional topological insulator phase, automatically becomes a three-dimensional topological insulator when the frequency dimension is taken into account. Moreover, by modulating a few of the resonators, a screw dislocation along the frequency axis can be created, which provides robust one-way transport of photons along the frequency axis. Demonstrating the physics of screw dislocation in a topological system has been a substantial challenge in solid-state systems. Our work indicates that the physics of three-dimensional topological insulators can be explored in standard integrated photonic platforms, leading to opportunities for novel devices that control the frequency of light.