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Observation of Unidirectional Solitonlike Edge States in Nonlinear Floquet Topological Insulators
Physical Review X  (IF15.762),  Pub Date : 2021-12-22, DOI: 10.1103/physrevx.11.041057
Sebabrata Mukherjee, Mikael C. Rechtsman

A salient feature of solid-state quantum-Hall-type topological materials in two dimensions is the presence of conducting electronic edge states that are insensitive to scattering by disorder. Such unidirectional edge states have been predicted and observed in many other experimental settings, including photonics, mechanical, and acoustic structures. It is of great interest to understand how topological states behave in the presence of interparticle interactions and nonlinearity. Here, we experimentally demonstrate backscatter-immune unidirectional solitonlike nonlinear states on the edge of photonic topological insulators consisting of laser-written waveguides. As a result of the optical Kerr nonlinearity of the ambient glass, the solitonlike wave packet forms a long-lived quasilocalized coherent structure that slowly radiates power into the bulk and along the edge. The realization of solitonlike edge states paves the way to an understanding of nonlinear and interacting topological systems.