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Photonic zero mode in a non-Hermitian photonic lattice.

ABSTRACT: Zero-energy particles (such as Majorana fermions) are newly predicted quasiparticles and are expected to play an important role in fault-tolerant quantum computation. In conventional Hermitian quantum systems, however, such zero states are vulnerable and even become vanishing if couplings with surroundings are of the same topological nature. Here we demonstrate a robust photonic zero mode sustained by a spatial non-Hermitian phase transition in a parity-time (PT) symmetric lattice, despite the same topological order across the entire system. The non-Hermitian-enhanced topological protection ensures the reemergence of the zero mode at the phase transition interface when the two semi-lattices under different PT phases are decoupled effectively in their real spectra. Residing at the midgap level of the PT symmetric spectrum, the zero mode is topologically protected against topological disorder. We experimentally validated the robustness of the zero-energy mode by ultrafast heterodyne measurements of light transport dynamics in a silicon waveguide lattice.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5882938 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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