Electromagnetic (EM) waves propagating through an inhomogeneous medium inevitably scatter whenever the medium’s electromagnetic properties change on the scale of a single wavelength. This fundamental phenomenon constrains how optical structures are designed and interfaced with each other. Recent theoretical work indicates that electromagnetic structures collectively known as photonic topological insulators (PTIs) can be employed to overcome this fundamental limitation, thereby paving the way for ultra-compact photonic structures that no longer have to be wavelength-scale smooth. I will review some of the recent developments in the field of topological photonics and discuss several novel directions. Those include the first experimental realization of the topologically robust (i.e. reflections- and interference-free) delay line that enables nearly-arbitrary engineering of the optical phase along the light’s path. Novel concepts such as all-dielectric PTIs that emulate the valley degree of freedom, as well as topologically protected high-Q cavities will also be discussed.
Gennady B. Shvets, "Photonic topological insulators and their applications: from delay lines to reflections-free resonators
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9920, Active Photonic Materials VIII, 99201D (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 31, 2016; Published: 9 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238420.5159519977001.
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