Photonic Crystals with Long-Range Interactions

Light localized in space inside the topological crystal, entangled by interaction and topology. (Source: ITMO U.)

A new approach to trapping light in arti­ficial photonic materials by a City College of New York-led team could lead to a tremendous boost in the transfer speed of data online. Research into topo­logical photonic meta­materials headed by physicist Alexander B. Khanikaev reveals that long-range interactions in the metamaterial changes the common behavior of light waves forcing them to localize in space. Further, the study shows that by controlling the degree of such inter­actions one can switch between trapped and extended character of optical waves.

“The new approach to trap light allows the design of new types of optical resonators, which may have a signi­ficant impact on devices used on a daily basis”, said Khanikaev. “These range from antennas in smart­phones and Wi-Fi routers, to optical chips in opto­electronics used for transferring data over the Internet with unpre­cedented speeds.”

It is a colla­boration between CCNY, the Photonics Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY; and ITMO Uni­versity in St. Peters­burg, Russia. As the lead organi­zation, CCNY initiated the research and designed the structures, which were then tested both at CCNY and at ITMO University. Research continues to extend the new approach to trap visible and infra-red light. This would further expand the range of possible appli­cations of the disco­very. (Source: CCNY)

Reference: M. Li et al.: Higher-order topological states in photonic kagome crystals with long-range interactions, Nat. Phot., online 9 December 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41566-019-0561-9

Link: Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Grove School of Engineering, City College of New York, New York, USA

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