Colloquia & Guest Speakers

Nonlinear Topological Photonics

Professor Bo Zhen, Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania

Monday, November 6, 2023
3:30 p.m.

Presented in-person in Goergen 101 and on Zoom

Zoom Information

Meeting ID: 952 7674 7247
Passcode: 964579


Topological photonics is a rapidly developing field, often drawing inspirations from the recent successes in electronic systems. Yet there are a few major differences between photons and electrons, leading to different topological consequences. For example, photons obey Maxwell’s equations, which naturally permit classical nonlinearities; whereas electrons obey Schrodinger equation that is linear. Based on this difference, I will present our recent theoretical and experimental results in exploring the role of classical optical nonlinearity in topological physics. On the theory side, these include defining topological invariants in driven nonlinear photonic crystals [1], Floquet dipole phases [2], quadrupole phases [3,4], and polaritonic Chern insulators [5]. On the experimental side, I will present our recent experimental demonstration of Floquet Chern insulators [6]. Finally, I will conclude with an outlook for future research and potential applications, such as night-vision goggles and room-temperature far-infrared.


Headshot of Bo Zhen.
Professor Bo Zhen

Bo Zhen received his BS degrees (Physics and Mathematics) from Tsinghua University (2008) and PhD degree (Physics) from MIT (2014). He started his own research group at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, where he is now an Assistant Professor. His research focuses on the interfaces between topological physics, nonlinear optics, and nanophotonics. His honors and awards include young investigator awards from AFOSR, ARO, and ONR, Sloan Research Fellowship, Kaufman Young Investigator grant, and International Commission for Optics Prize.