Photonic Dirac cavities with spatially varying mass term

Kai Chen, Filipp Komissarenko, Daria Smirnova, Anton Vakulenko, Svetlana Kiriushechkina, Irina Volkovskaya, Sriram Guddala, Vinod Menon, Andrea Alù, Alexander B. Khanikaev*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In recent years, photonics has proven itself as an excellent platform for emulation of relativistic phenomena. Here, we show an example of relativistic-like trapping in photonic system that realizes Dirac-like dispersion with spatially inhomogeneous mass term. The modes trapped by such cavities, their energy levels, and corresponding orbitals are then characterized through optical imaging in real and momentum space. The fabricated cavities host a hierarchy of photonic modes with distinct radiation profiles directly analogous to various atomic orbitals endowed with unique characteristics, such as pseudo-particle-hall symmetry and spin degeneracy, and they carry topological charge which gives rise to radiative profiles with angular momentum. We demonstrate that these modes can be directionally excited by pseudo-spin-polarized boundary states. In addition to the fundamental interest in the structure of these pseudo-relativistic orbitals, the proposed system offers a route for designing new types of nanophotonic devices, spin-full resonators and topological light sources compatible with integrated photonics platforms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbereabq4243
    JournalScience advances
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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