Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2013

Israeli scientists develop first photonic topological insulators to provide protection for transport of light

Technion researchers succeeded in developing a new mean of transmitting light of “wave transmitters”. The current development may serve as a key component of the phonetix industry, the hard core of the computing industry, solar cells and DVD.

The team from Left to right :Prof Moti Segev Julia Zeuner Mikael  Rechtsman  Yaakov Lumer and Yonatan Plotnik / Photo Technion

The team from Left to right :
Prof Moti Segev Julia Zeuner Mikael Rechtsman Yaakov Lumer and Yonatan Plotnik / Photo Technion

/ By Ilan Shavit / 

As the computing world is becoming faster and faster, and the chips are becoming more and more loaded, there is a growing need for light controller smaller devices . However, damages in the production procedure may cause a flow of unusual and uncontrollable light.

The meaning is, that a new methodology is required in order prevent the spread of this undesirable spread, resulting from those flaws. According to the scientific journal Nature’s report, the following Tachnion study, performed in collaboration with a team of researchers from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, was trying to create.

Using a unique lattice of “Waveguides”, (which are certain wires leading to the light like an electricity conductor) researchers experimentally demonstrated and successfully the Floquet topological insulator photocurrent.

In other words, The waveguides are set in a beehive form. Such a structure, which is smaller than the width of a human hair, provides the light a “Topological protection”. Meaning, the light can be transmitted regularly,   despite the defects in the material. According to Prof. Moti Segev, from the faculty of Physics: “The  topological protection enables the light to travel without noticing the flaws.”.”

Topological protection was achieved by the first time not for light but for electrons moving in solid material. However, Dr. Mikael Rechtsman and Dr. Yonathan Plotnick, working under Prof, Segev, revealed how can it be implemented through creating a set of waveguides, communicating with one another.

The next step towards topological protection will be creating a spiral (not straight) set of waveguides. “The spiritual structure of the waveguides is breaking the symmetry and making them rotate forward motion – clockwise wave in the opposite direction – against the clock, ” said Dr. Rechtsman, . “In the Process we developed, it is essential to prevent unwanted spread”..

“Floquet topological insulators” may build a new platform for the research and the understanding of topological protection”, explains Rechtsman, “For example, a variety of experiments whose implementation is difficult or impossible to solid-state materials is now possible through the light”


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