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SPECTROSCOPY

Optically sensing topological phase transitions

The presence of topologically protected edge states is usually determined by angular-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy, requiring clean surfaces and ultrahigh vacuum. Now, an all-optical technique, based on high-harmonic radiation, has been shown to detect topological phase transitions under ambient conditions.

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Fig. 1: High-harmonic generation in a topological insulator.

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Correspondence to Dieter Bauer.

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Bauer, D. Optically sensing topological phase transitions. Nat. Photon. 16, 614–615 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-022-01063-2

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