Guiding electromagnetic waves around sharp corners: topologically protected photonic transport in metawaveguides

Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Mar 27;114(12):127401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.127401. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


The wave nature of radiation prevents its reflections-free propagation around sharp corners. We demonstrate that a simple photonic structure based on a periodic array of metallic cylinders attached to one of the two confining metal plates can emulate spin-orbit interaction through bianisotropy. Such a metawaveguide behaves as a photonic topological insulator with complete topological band gap. An interface between two such structures with opposite signs of the bianisotropy supports topologically protected surface waves, which can be guided without reflections along sharp bends of the interface.