Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Mid-guide spread

Subjects

Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 106402 (2012)

Look at a quasicrystal close up and it seems to have little pattern. But scale out and an ordered arrangement soon emerges. Yaacov Kraus and colleagues now show that an optical quasicrystal is a means for efficient photon transfer with little loss.

Kraus et al. investigated a one-dimensional quasicrystal comprising a series of microscale optical waveguides side-by-side. They show that light sent down the middle waveguide quickly spreads out to the neighbouring channels as it propagates. If the light is sent down a waveguide on the edge, however, the photons emerge as a tightly localized beam from the guide at the other edge of the quasicrystal.

The researchers highlight that this unexpected effect has many similarities with the electronic properties of topological insulators — where states exist at the surface of an insulating material enabling a current to flow. In both cases, a system with a small number of dimensions displays characteristics associated with a higher-dimensional one. This analogy might aid better understanding of topological states and their application.

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gevaux, D. Mid-guide spread. Nature Phys 8, 702 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2450

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2450

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing