Disorder-Induced Topological State Transition in the Optical Skyrmion Family

Changxu Liu, Shuang Zhang, Stefan A. Maier, Haoran Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Skyrmions endowed with topological protection have been extensively investigated in various platforms including magnetics, ferroelectrics, and liquid crystals, stimulating applications such as memories, logic devices, and neuromorphic computing. While the optical counterpart has been proposed and realized recently, the study of optical skyrmions is still in its infancy. Among the unexplored questions, the investigation of the topology induced robustness against disorder is of substantial importance on both fundamental and practical sides but remains elusive. In this Letter, we manage to generate optical skyrmions numerically in real space with different topological features at will, providing a unique platform to investigate the robustness of various optical skyrmions. A disorder-induced topological state transition is observed for the first time in a family of optical skyrmions composed of six classes with different skyrmion numbers. Intriguingly, the optical skyrmions produced from a vectorial hologram are exceptionally robust against scattering from a random medium, shedding light on topological photonic devices for the generation and manipulation of robust states for applications including imaging and communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number267401
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume129
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2022

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