Octupole corner state in a three-dimensional topological circuit

Light Sci Appl. 2020 Aug 19;9:145. doi: 10.1038/s41377-020-00381-w. eCollection 2020.


Higher-order topological insulators (HOTIs) represent a new family of topological materials featuring quantized bulk polarizations and zero-dimensional corner states. In recent years, zero-dimensional corner states have been demonstrated in two-dimensional systems in the form of quadrupole modes or dipole modes. Due to the challenges in designing and constructing three-dimensional systems, octupole corner modes in 3D have not been observed. In this work, we experimentally investigate octupole topological phases in a three-dimensional electrical circuit, which can be viewed as a cubic lattice version of the Hofstadter model with a π-flux threading each plaquette. We experimentally observe in our higher-order topological circuit a 0D corner state manifested as a localized impedance peak. The observed corner state in the electrical circuit is induced by the octupole moment of the bulk circuit and is topologically protected by anticommuting spatial symmetries of the circuit lattice. Our work provides a platform for investigating higher-order topological effects in three-dimensional electrical circuits.

Keywords: Metamaterials; Photonic devices.