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Partial chiral symmetry-breaking as a route to spectrally isolated topological defect states in two-dimensional artificial materials

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Article number025008
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>2D Materials
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/01/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Bipartite quantum systems from the chiral universality classes admit topologically protected zero modes at point defects. However, in two-dimensional systems these states can be difficult to separate from compacton-like localized states that arise from flat bands, formed if the two sublattices support a different number of sites within a unit cell. Here we identify a natural reduction of chiral symmetry, obtained by coupling sites on the majority sublattice, which gives rise to spectrally isolated point-defect states, topologically characterized as zero modes supported by the complementary minority sublattice. We observe these states in a microwave realization of a dimerized Lieb lattice with next-nearest neighbour coupling, and also demonstrate topological mode selection via sublattice-staggered absorption.