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Non-Hermitian defect states from lifetime differences

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Article number063801
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/12/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Number of pages7
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Non-Hermitian systems provide new avenues to create topological defect states. An unresolved general question is how much the formation of these states depends on asymmetric backscattering, be it nonreciprocal as in the non-Hermitian skin effect or reciprocal as encountered between the internal states of asymmetric microresonators. Here, we demonstrate in a concrete, practically accessible setting of a lossy coupled-resonator optical waveguide that non-Hermitian defect states can exist in open optical systems due to lifetime differences, without the need for asymmetric backscattering within or between the individual resonators. We apply our findings to a finite system of coupled circular resonators perturbed by nanoparticles, following the concept of creating an interface by inverting the position of the nanoparticles in half of the chain. We compare a coupled-mode tight-binding approximation to full-wave numerical simulations, showing that spectrally isolated defect states can indeed be implemented in this simple non-Hermitian photonic device.

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© 2019 American Physical Society