Tunable Topological Phononic Crystals

Zeguo Chen, Ying Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Topological insulators first observed in electronic systems have inspired many analogues in photonic and phononic crystals in which remarkable one-way propagation edge states are supported by topologically nontrivial band gaps. Such band gaps can be achieved by breaking the time-reversal symmetry to lift the degeneracy associated with Dirac cones at the corners of the Brillouin zone. Here, we report on our construction of a phononic crystal exhibiting a Dirac-like cone in the Brillouin zone center. We demonstrate that simultaneously breaking the time-reversal symmetry and altering the geometric size of the unit cell result in a topological transition that we verify by the Chern number calculation and edge-mode analysis. We develop a complete model based on the tight binding to uncover the physical mechanisms of the topological transition. Both the model and numerical simulations show that the topology of the band gap is tunable by varying both the velocity field and the geometric size; such tunability may dramatically enrich the design and use of acoustic topological insulators.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 27 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank X. Ni, X. C. Sun, and X. J. Zhang for stimulating discussions. The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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