Tunable topological phases in photonic and phononic crystals

  • Zeguo Chen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Topological photonics/phononics, inspired by the discovery of topological insulators, is a prosperous field of research, in which remarkable one-way propagation edge states are robust against impurities or defect without backscattering. This dissertation discusses the implementation of multiple topological phases in specific designed photonic and phononic crystals. First, it reports a tunable quantum Hall phase in acoustic ring-waveguide system. A new three-band model focused on the topological transitions at the Γ point is studied, which gives the functionality that nontrivial topology can be tuned by changing the strengths of the couplings and/or the broken time-reversal symmetry. The resulted tunable topological edge states are also numerically verified. Second, based on our previous studied acoustic ring-waveguide system, we introduce anisotropy by tuning the couplings along different directions. We find that the bandgap topology is related to the frequency and directions. We report our proposal on a frequency filter designed from such an anisotropic topological phononic crystal. Third, motivated by the recent progress on quantum spin Hall phases, we propose a design of time-reversal symmetry broken quantum spin Hall insulators in photonics, in which a new quantum anomalous Hall phase emerges. It supports a chiral edge state with certain spin orientations, which is robust against the magnetic impurities. We also report the realization of the quantum anomalous Hall phase in phononics.
Date of AwardFeb 18 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorYing Wu (Supervisor)


  • physics
  • topology
  • edge state
  • phonetic crystals

Cite this