Kirstin Petersen , assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is among 22 early-career researchers honored with a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, from the David and... Read more about Kirstin Petersen wins Packard Foundation fellowship
Topological Waveguiding near an Exceptional Point: Defect-Immune, Slow-Light, and Loss-Immune Propagation
Electromagnetic waves propagating in conventional wave-guiding structures are reflected by discontinuities and decay in lossy regions. In this Letter, we drastically modify this typical guided-wave behavior by combining concepts from non-Hermitian physics and topological photonics.
Electromagnetic waves propagating in conventional wave-guiding structures are reflected by discontinuities and decay in lossy regions. In this Letter, we drastically modify this typical guided-wave behavior by combining concepts from non-Hermitian physics and topological photonics. To this aim, we theoretically study, for the first time, the possibility of realizing an exceptional point between coupled topological modes in a non-Hermitian nonreciprocal waveguide. Our proposed system is composed of oppositely biased gyrotropic materials (e.g., biased plasmas or graphene layers) with a balanced distribution of loss and gain. To study this complex wave-guiding problem, we put forward an exact analysis based on classical Green’s function theory, and we elucidate the behavior of coupled topological modes and the nature of their non-Hermitian degeneracies. We find that, by operating near an exceptional point, we can realize anomalous topological wave propagation with, at the same time, low group velocity, inherent immunity to backscattering at discontinuities, and immunity to losses. These theoretical findings may open exciting research directions and stimulate further investigations of non-Hermitian topological waveguides to realize robust wave propagation in practical scenarios.
The full article can be found on Physical Review Letters website.
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