IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar
Abstract: Topological phases feature robust edge states that are protected against the effects of defects and disorder. The robustness of these states presents opportunities to design technologies that are tolerant to fabrication errors and resilient to environmental fluctuations. While most topological phases rely on conservative, or Hamiltonian, couplings, the topological phases that arise in open systems with purely dissipative couplings remain largely unexplored. Here we present experimental realizations of dissipatively coupled topological lattices in the synthetic dimensions of a time-multiplexed photonic resonator network. In contrast to conservatively coupled topological phases, the topological phases of our network arise from bands of dissipation rates that possess nontrivial topological invariants, and the edge states of these topological phases exhibit isolated dissipation rates that occur in the gaps between the bulk dissipation bands. We show measurements of the topological edge states, topological band structures, and topological invariants of our dissipatively coupled lattices, and we demonstrate that dissipatively coupled topological systems can enable topological protection of an edge mode's quality factor. We conclude by discussing how our results can be extended to realize topological mode-locked lasers.
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