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Thursday, May 15, 2014
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
T-DO Conference Room

Quantum Lunch

Topological Polaritons

Torsten Karzig

We study the formation of topological polaritons from guided photons coupled to semiconductor excitons. Oscillating electromagnetic fields can turn a trivial electronic band structure into a Floquet topological insulator. Here we invert this principle and show that it is possible to create topological states of photons by mixing them with electronic degrees of freedom. Taken separately the photons and excitons are trivial. The combination of them, however, allows to create a new topological state, a topological polariton. We discuss the necessary ingredients to lend the polaritons a non-trivial topology through a "winding" exciton-photon coupling. One hallmark signature of the topological polaritons are chiral edge modes which allow for unidirectional photon propagation as a part of the exciton-photon edge mode.

Host: Armin Rahmani