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Journal Article

Cubic 3D Chern photonic insulators with orientable large Chern vectors


G. Vergniory,  Maia
Inorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Devescovi, C., García-Díez, M., Robredo, I., Blanco de Paz, M., Lasa-Alonso, J., Bradlyn, B., et al. (2021). Cubic 3D Chern photonic insulators with orientable large Chern vectors. Nature Communications, 12(1): 7330, pp. 1-12. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27168-w.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-C32E-8
Chern number controls the number of surface state channels in topological insulators. Here the authors propose 3D Chern insulating cubic photonic crystals with orientable and arbitrarily large Chern numbers demonstrating topologically protected photonic surface states.
Time Reversal Symmetry (TRS) broken topological phases provide gapless surface states protected by topology, regardless of additional internal symmetries, spin or valley degrees of freedom. Despite the numerous demonstrations of 2D topological phases, few examples of 3D topological systems with TRS breaking exist. In this article, we devise a general strategy to design 3D Chern insulating (3D CI) cubic photonic crystals in a weakly TRS broken environment with orientable and arbitrarily large Chern vectors. The designs display topologically protected chiral and unidirectional surface states with disjoint equifrequency loops. The resulting crystals present the following characteristics: First, by increasing the Chern number, multiple surface states channels can be supported. Second, the Chern vector can be oriented along any direction simply changing the magnetization axis, opening up larger 3D CI/3D CI interfacing possibilities as compared to 2D. Third, by lowering the TRS breaking requirements, the system is ideal for realistic photonic applications where the magnetic response is weak.