Unidirectional and robust transport is generally observed at the edge of two- or three-dimensional quantum Hall and topological insulator systems. A hallmark of these systems is topological protection, i.e., the existence of propagative edge states that cannot be scattered by imperfections or disorder in the system. A different and less explored form of robust transport arises in non-Hermitian systems in the presence of an imaginary gauge field. As compared to topologically protected transport in quantum Hall and topological insulator systems, robust non-Hermitian transport can be observed in lower dimensional (i.e., one dimensional) systems. In this work the transport properties of one-dimensional tight-binding lattices with an imaginary gauge field are theoretically investigated, and the physical mechanism underlying robust one-way transport is highlighted. Back scattering is here forbidden because reflected waves are evanescent rather than propagative. Remarkably, the spectral transmission of the non-Hermitian lattice is shown to be mapped onto the one of the corresponding Hermitian lattice, i.e., without the gauge field, but computed in the complex plane. In particular, at large values of the gauge field the spectral transmittance becomes equal to 1, even in the presence of disorder or lattice imperfections. This phenomenon can be referred to as one-way non-Hermitian transparency. Robust one-way transport can be also realized in a more realistic setting, namely in heterostructure systems, in which a non-Hermitian disordered lattice is embedded between two homogeneous Hermitian lattices. Such a double heterostructure realizes asymmetric (nonreciprocal) wave transmission. A physical implementation of non-Hermitian transparency, based on light transport in a chain of optical microring resonators, is suggested.

Non-Hermitian transparency and one-way transport in low-dimensional lattices by an imaginary gauge field

LONGHI, STEFANO;GATTI, DAVIDE;DELLA VALLE, GIUSEPPE
2015-01-01

Abstract

Unidirectional and robust transport is generally observed at the edge of two- or three-dimensional quantum Hall and topological insulator systems. A hallmark of these systems is topological protection, i.e., the existence of propagative edge states that cannot be scattered by imperfections or disorder in the system. A different and less explored form of robust transport arises in non-Hermitian systems in the presence of an imaginary gauge field. As compared to topologically protected transport in quantum Hall and topological insulator systems, robust non-Hermitian transport can be observed in lower dimensional (i.e., one dimensional) systems. In this work the transport properties of one-dimensional tight-binding lattices with an imaginary gauge field are theoretically investigated, and the physical mechanism underlying robust one-way transport is highlighted. Back scattering is here forbidden because reflected waves are evanescent rather than propagative. Remarkably, the spectral transmission of the non-Hermitian lattice is shown to be mapped onto the one of the corresponding Hermitian lattice, i.e., without the gauge field, but computed in the complex plane. In particular, at large values of the gauge field the spectral transmittance becomes equal to 1, even in the presence of disorder or lattice imperfections. This phenomenon can be referred to as one-way non-Hermitian transparency. Robust one-way transport can be also realized in a more realistic setting, namely in heterostructure systems, in which a non-Hermitian disordered lattice is embedded between two homogeneous Hermitian lattices. Such a double heterostructure realizes asymmetric (nonreciprocal) wave transmission. A physical implementation of non-Hermitian transparency, based on light transport in a chain of optical microring resonators, is suggested.
Condensed Matter Physics; Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/971896
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