Topological photonic crystal fibers and ring resonators

With an exact recursive approach, we study photonic crystal fibers and resonators with topological features induced by Aubry–Andre–Harper cladding modulation. We find nontrivial gaps and edge states at the interface between regions with different topological invariants. These structures show topological protection against symmetry-preserving local perturbations that do not close the gap and sustain strong field localization and energy concentration at a given radial distance. As topological light guiding and trapping devices, they may bring about many opportunities for both fundamentals and applications unachievable with conventional devices.

Laura Pilozzi et al. Optics Letters 45, 1415 (2020)

Spin-orbit coupling in graphene-based nanostructures with broken rotational symmetry

Spin and angular momenta of light are important degrees of freedom in nanophotonics which control light propagation, optical forces and information encoding. Typically, optical angular momentum is generated using q-plates or spatial light modulators. Here, we show that graphene-supported plasmonic nanostructures with broken rotational symmetry provide a surprising spin to orbital angular momentum conversion, which can be continuously controlled by changing the electrochemical potential of graphene. Upon resonant illumination by a circularly polarized plane wave, a polygonal array of indium-tin-oxide nanoparticles on a graphene sheet generates scattered field carrying electrically-tunable orbital angular momentum. This unique photonic spin-orbit coupling occurs due to the strong coupling of graphene plasmon polaritons and localised surface plasmons of the nanoparticles and leads to the controlled directional excitation of graphene plasmons. The tuneable spin-orbit conversion pave the way to high-rate information encoding in optical communications, electric steering functionalities in optical tweezers, and nanorouting of higher-dimensional entangled photon states.

Ciattoni et al in arXiv:2002.12058

Simulating general relativity and non-commutative geometry by nonparaxial quantum fluids

We show that quantum fluids enable experimental analogs of relativistic orbital precession in the presence of non-paraxial effects. The analysis is performed by the hydrodynamic limit of the Schroedinger equation. The non-commutating variables in the phase-space produce a precession and an acceleration of the orbital motion. The precession of the orbit is formally identical to the famous orbital precession of the perihelion of Mercury used by Einstein to validate the corrections of general relativity to Newton’s theory. In our case, the corrections are due to the modified uncertainty principle. The results may enable novel relativistic analogs in the laboratory, also including sub Planckian phenomenology.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/ab5da8

Couplings between time and orbital angular momentum in propagation-invariant ultrafast vortices

In any form of wave propagation, strong spatiotemporal coupling appears when non-elementary, three-dimensional wave-packets are composed by superimposing pure plane waves, or spontaneously generated by light-matter interaction and nonlinear processes. Ultrashort pulses with orbital angular momentum (OAM), or ultrashort vortices, furnish a critical paradigm in which the analysis of the spatiotemporal coupling in the form of temporal-OAM coupling can be carried out accurately by analytical tools. By generalizing and unifying previously reported results, we show that universal and spatially heterogeneous space-time correlations occur in propagation-invariant temporal pulses carrying OAM. In regions with high intensity, the pulse duration has a lower bound fixed by the topological charge of the vortex and such that the duration must increase with the topological charge. In regions with low intensity in the vicinity of the vortex, a large blue-shift of the carrier oscillations and an increase of the number of them is predicted for strongly twisted beams. We think that these very general findings highlight the existence of a structural coupling between space and time, which is relevant at low photon numbers in quantum optics, and also in the highly nonlinear process as the high-harmonics generated with twisted beams. These results have also applications as multi-level classical and quantum free-space or satellite, communications, spectroscopy, and high-harmonic generation.

Miguel A. Porras and C. Conti in arXiv:1911.1222

Multipolar terahertz spectroscopy by graphene plasmons

Terahertz absorption spectroscopy plays a key role in physical, chemical and biological systems as a powerful tool to identify molecular species through their rotational spectrum fingerprint. Owing to the sub-nanometer scale of molecules, radiation-matter coupling is typically dominated by dipolar interaction. Here we show that multipolar rotational spectroscopy of molecules in proximity of localized graphene structures can be accessed through the extraordinary enhancement of their multipolar transitions provided by terahertz plasmons. In particular, specializing our calculations to homonuclear diatomic molecules, we demonstrate that a micron-sized graphene ring with a nano-hole at the core combines a strong near-field enhancement and an inherently pronounced field localization enabling the enhancement of the dipole-forbidden terahertz absorption cross-section of H+2H2+ by 8 orders of magnitude. Our results shed light on the strong potential offered by nano-structured graphene as a robust and electrically tunable platform for multipolar terahertz absorption spectroscopy at the nanoscale.

A. Ciattoni, C. Conti, and A. Marini in Communication Physics