Emergent optical phenomena in topological materials
West Virginia University, USA
Photonic innovations heavily relies on the ability to control the propagation of individual light wave and the interaction between different light fields. Such capabilities, however, are often greatly restricted by the intrinsic optical laws in regular materials. For example, while unidirectionally propagating electromagnetic waves are intensely sought after, their presence is very rare in nature as being forbidden by time-reversal symmetry. Also, while nonlinear optical process is the only venue toward photon coupling, the optical nonlinearity in most materials is extremely weak. The emergence of quantum materials with unique topological characteristics offers a new perspective for addressing these challenges. Here, we show how two topological material systems can be employed and tailored to break propagation reciprocity and to enhance optical nonlinearity. These results demonstrate the possibility of harnessing unconventional light waves on chip and also reveal a practical strategy for the optical material search.
Brief CV of Prof.Cheng Cen:
Cheng Cen is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University. She graduated from the Special Class for the Gifted Young program at University of Science and Technology of China in 2004. After receiving the Ph.D. degree in physics from University of Pittsburgh in 2010, she worked in IBM Research until 2012 before joining WVU. Her current research focuses on the nanoelectronic and nanophotonic properties of quantum materials. She currently holds two patents, and many of her works have appeared in prestigious journals including Science, Nature Materials, PRX, Optica, etc. She is also a recipient of Career Awards from both US National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
Contact: Liu Yang（杨柳）