Disorder-Induced Topological State Transition in the Optical Skyrmion Family

Liu, Changxu, Zhang, Shuang, Maier, Stefan A. and Ren, Haoran (2022) Disorder-Induced Topological State Transition in the Optical Skyrmion Family. Physical Review Letters, 129 (26). p. 267401. ISSN 0031-9007

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.267401


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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: S. A. M. acknowledges financial support from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Cluster of Excellence e-conversion (EXC 2089111-390776260), and the Lee-Lucas Chair in Physics. H. R. acknowledges funding support from the DECRA Project (DE220101085) from the Australian Research Council. S. Z. acknowledges the financial support from Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (AoE/P-502/20, 17309021).
Subjects: F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2023 08:24
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2023 08:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51107

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