Research ArticlePHYSICS

Optical switching of topological phase in a perovskite polariton lattice

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Science Advances  21 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 21, eabf8049
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf8049

Abstract

Strong light-matter interaction enriches topological photonics by dressing light with matter, which provides the possibility to realize active nonlinear topological devices with immunity to defects. Topological exciton polaritons—half-light, half-matter quasiparticles with giant optical nonlinearity—represent a unique platform for active topological photonics. Previous demonstrations of exciton polariton topological insulators demand cryogenic temperatures, and their topological properties are usually fixed. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a room temperature exciton polariton topological insulator in a perovskite zigzag lattice. Polarization serves as a degree of freedom to switch between distinct topological phases, and the topologically nontrivial polariton edge states persist in the presence of onsite energy perturbations, showing strong immunity to disorder. We further demonstrate exciton polariton condensation into the topological edge states under optical pumping. These results provide an ideal platform for realizing active topological polaritonic devices working at ambient conditions, which can find important applications in topological lasers, optical modulation, and switching.

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