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Journal Article

Topological phonon transport in an optomechanical system

MPS-Authors

Shah,  Tirth
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physics, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg;

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Pfeifer,  Hannes
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Brendel,  Christian
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Peano,  Vittorio
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Marquardt,  Florian
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physics, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg;

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s41467-022-30941-0.pdf
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Citation

Ren, H., Shah, T., Pfeifer, H., Brendel, C., Peano, V., Marquardt, F., et al. (2022). Topological phonon transport in an optomechanical system. Nature Communications, 13: 3476. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-30941-0.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0286-F
Abstract
Recent advances in cavity-optomechanics have now made it possible to use light not just as a passive measuring device of mechanical motion, but also to manipulate the motion of mechanical objects down to the level of individual quanta of vibrations (phonons). At the same time, microfabrication techniques have enabled small-scale optomechanical circuits capable of on-chip manipulation of mechanical and optical signals. Building on these developments, theoretical proposals have shown that larger scale optomechanical arrays can be used to modify the propagation of phonons, realizing a form of topologically protected phonon transport. Here, we report the observation of topological phonon transport within a multiscale optomechanical crystal structure consisting of an array of over 800 cavity-optomechanical elements. Using sensitive, spatially resolved optical read-out we detect thermal phonons in a 0.325−0.34GHz band traveling along a topological edge channel, with substantial reduction in backscattering. This represents an important step from the pioneering macroscopic mechanical systems work towards topological phononic systems at the nanoscale, where hypersonic frequency (≳GHz) acoustic wave circuits consisting of robust delay lines and non-reciprocal elements may be implemented. Owing to the broadband character of the topological channels, the control of the flow of heat-carrying phonons, albeit at cryogenic temperatures, may also be envisioned.