Observation of topological phase transitions in photonic quasicrystals

Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Feb 15;110(7):076403. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.076403. Epub 2013 Feb 14.


Topological insulators and topological superconductors are distinguished by their bulk phase transitions and gapless states at a sharp boundary with the vacuum. Quasicrystals have recently been found to be topologically nontrivial. In quasicrystals, the bulk phase transitions occur in the same manner as standard topological materials, but their boundary phenomena are more subtle. In this Letter we directly observe bulk phase transitions, using photonic quasicrystals, by constructing a smooth boundary between topologically distinct one-dimensional quasicrystals. Moreover, we use the same method to experimentally confirm the topological equivalence between the Harper and Fibonacci quasicrystals.