Nonlinear Second-Order Topological Insulators

We demonstrate, both theoretically and experimentally, the concept of nonlinear second-order topological insulators, a class of bulk insulators with quantized Wannier centers and a bulk polarization directly controlled by the level of nonlinearity. We show that one-dimensional edge states and zero-dimensional corner states can be induced in a trivial crystal insulator made of evanescently coupled resonators with linear and nonlinear coupling coefficients, simply by tuning the intensity. This allows global external control over topological phase transitions and switching to a phase with nonzero bulk polarization, without requiring any structural or geometrical changes. We further show how these nonlinear effects enable dynamic tuning of the spectral properties and localization of the topological edge and corner states. Such self-induced second-order topological insulators, which can be found and implemented in a wide variety of physical platforms ranging from electronics to microwaves, acoustics, and optics, hold exciting promises for reconfigurable topological energy confinement, power harvesting, data storage, and spatial management of high-intensity fields.

Published in:
Physical Review Letters, 123, 5, 053902
Aug 02 2019
featured on the cover of Physical Review Letter, volume 123, Issue 5.

 Record created 2019-08-03, last modified 2019-08-03

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