Rapid Design, Fabrication, and Optimization of 3D Printed Photonic Topological Insulators

15 October 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Photonic topological insulators have emerged as an exciting new platform for backscatter-free waveguiding even in the presence of defects, with applications in robust long-range energy and quantum information transfer, low-threshold lasing, and chiral quantum optics. We demonstrate a design for spin-Hall photonic topological insulators with remarkably low refractive index contrast, enabling the synthesis of photonic topological waveguides from polymeric materials for the first time. Our design is compatible with additive manufacturing methods, including fused filament fabrication, and constitutes the first demonstration of a 3D printed photonic topological insulator. We combine rapid device fabrication through 3D printing with high-speed FDTD simulation to showcase an iterative design cycle capable of screening thousands of device configurations with unprecedented speed. We have identified and experimentally verified a non-intuitive geometry for bent topological waveguides with optimized transmission. Our rapid design cycle represents a powerful new tool set for designing, optimizing, and synthesizing photonic topological materials.


Topological Photonics
Additive Manufacturing
High-Speed FDTD

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information for: Rapid Design, Fabrication, and Optimization of 3D Printed Photonic Topological Insulators
Figure S1: Geometry, band structure and experimental and FDTD transmission spectra for the topologically trivial compressed lattice. Figure S2: Identification of common features in low-transmission bent topological waveguide designs. Table S1: Slicing parameters for fused filament fabrication of photonic topological insulators. Figure S3: Images of the parallel plate waveguide transmission apparatus.


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