Nonreciprocal Light Manipulation by Synthetic Gauge Field in Rotating Cylinders

Project: Research

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Reciprocity in optics requires symmetric response of light with respect to the interchange of source and observation point. Nonreciprocity (i.e. breaking of reciprocity) can give rise to one-way transport of light, which can generate practical applications such as invisible sensing, full-duplex communications, and noise-tolerant quantum computing.Only a few approaches can be applied to achieve optical nonreciprocity, among which structural rotation has been drawing considerable attention due to its magnetless and broadband characteristics. Structural rotation induces a synthetic gauge field that breaks the time-reversal symmetry and leads to nonreciprocity. Despite the challenges such as the requirement of high rotation speed, this approach has been employed to achievenovel nonreciprocal functionalities like optical isolation. More applications can emerge with the development of nanofabrication techniques and optomechanics. Structural rotation has inspired interesting physics in topological photonics and acoustics, where the synthetic gauge field can give rise to robust one-way edge states.Conventional studies mainly focus on light manipulation by single rotating structure. In this proposed project, we plan to investigate the nonreciprocal coupling between multiple rotating structures and the resulting novel properties for light manipulation. The project is grounded on the PI’s previously research about coupled resonators, pseudo nonreciprocity, and synthetic gauge fields, and it goes one step further. To be specific, we will study the nonreciprocal coupling of rotating cylinders in presence of rotationinduced gauge field and understand how it affects the vector properties of light. By considering a metasurface consisting of periodic rotating cylinders, we will explore novel nonreciprocal effects to control light’s propagation. We will also investigate possiblemechanisms to enhance the nonreciprocal effects at low rotation speed and the possibility of experimental implementation.The results of this project could uncover the mechanism of nonreciprocal coupling in rotating optical structures and its effects on light’s properties. It can not only deepen our understanding of electrodynamics in non-inertial systems but also nourish the fields of non-Hermitian optics and topological photonics with novel structures and new insights.The results could find applications in the development of nonreciprocal optical devices for next-generation communication technologies and topological quantum computations.


Project number9043020
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …