Tunable Magnetless Optical Isolation with Twisted Weyl Semimetals

18 Apr 2023  ·  Vladislav Chistyakov, Viktar S. Asadchy, Shanhui Fan, Andrea Alu, Alex Krasnok ·

Weyl semimetals hold great promise in revolutionizing nonreciprocal optical components due to their unique topological properties. By exhibiting nonreciprocal magneto-optical effects without necessitating an external magnetic field, these materials offer remarkable miniaturization opportunities and reduced energy consumption. However, their intrinsic topological robustness poses a challenge for applications demanding tunability. In this work, we introduce an innovative approach to enhance the tunability of their response, utilizing multilayered configurations of twisted anisotropic Weyl semimetals. Our design enables controlled and reversible isolation by adjusting the twist angle between the anisotropic layers. When implemented in the Faraday geometry within the mid-IR frequency range, our design delivers impressive isolation, exceeding 50 dB, while maintaining a minimal insertion loss of just 0.33 dB. Moreover, the in-plane anisotropy of Weyl semimetals eliminates one or both polarizers of a conventional isolator geometry, significantly reducing the overall dimensions. These results set the stage for creating highly adaptable, ultra-compact optical isolators that can propel the fields of integrated photonics and quantum technology applications to new heights.

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Optics Applied Physics