Article

Three-dimensional all-dielectric photonic topological insulator

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Abstract

The discovery of two-dimensional topological photonic systems has transformed our views on the propagation and scattering of electromagnetic waves, and the quest for similar states in three dimensions is open. Here, we theoretically demonstrate that it is possible to design symmetry-protected three-dimensional topological states in an all-dielectric platform, with the electromagnetic duality between electric and magnetic fields being ensured by the structure design. Magneto-electrical coupling plays the role of a synthetic gauge field that determines a topological transition to an ‘insulating’ regime with a complete three-dimensional photonic bandgap. We reveal the emergence of surface states with conical Dirac dispersion and spin-locking, and we numerically confirm robust propagation of the surface states along two-dimensional domain walls with first-principles studies. The proposed system represents a table-top platform capable of emulating the relativistic dynamics of massive Dirac fermions and the surface states can be interpreted as Jackiw–Rebbi states bound to the interface separating domains with particles of opposite masses.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to L. Lu and A. Poddubny for many enlightening comments, useful discussions and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-1537294 and EFRI-1641069). Research was partly carried out at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under contract no. DE-SC0012704. This work was partially supported by the Australian Research Council. A.S. and A.B.K. acknowledge that the large scale numerical simulations were supported by the Russian Science Foundation (grant no.16-19-10538). A.S. acknowledges support from the IEEE MTT-S and Photonics Graduate Fellowships.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Grove School of Engineering, The City College of the City University of New York, 140th Street and Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10031, USA

    • Alexey Slobozhanyuk
    • , Xiang Ni
    • , Daria Smirnova
    •  & Alexander B. Khanikaev
  2. Nonlinear Physics Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia

    • Alexey Slobozhanyuk
    • , Daria Smirnova
    •  & Yuri S. Kivshar
  3. Department of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials, ITMO University, St. Petersburg 197101, Russia

    • Alexey Slobozhanyuk
    •  & Yuri S. Kivshar
  4. Microelectronics Research Centre, Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78758, USA

    • S. Hossein Mousavi
  5. Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, New York 10016, USA

    • Xiang Ni
    •  & Alexander B. Khanikaev

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Contributions

All authors contributed extensively to the work presented in this paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexander B. Khanikaev.

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