Revolutionizing optical control with topological edge states

Wuhan and Huazhong researchers harness the robustness of topological edge states to manipulate light transport in nanophotonics.

Nanophotonics and topology have gained significant interest due to the particular properties they offer. One area of focus is the investigation of topological edge states (TESs).

These states have captured widespread attention because they are very resistant to errors and imperfections. Arising from topologically nontrivial phases, TESs provide a powerful toolkit for the architectural design of photonic integrated circuits.

TES transport has led to the discovery of various intriguing optical effects and applications, including directional couplers, one-way waveguides, mode-locked waveguides, and pseudospin propagation in ring resonator arrays.

Scientists have recently expanded their efforts to manipulate TESs by exploring techniques such as adiabatic modulation, nonlinear effects, and complex braiding. Optical systems have demonstrated a range of intriguing phenomena, such as edge-to-edge topological transport and tunable localization of topological states.