Wave and defect dynamics in nonlinear photonic quasicrystals

Barak Freedman, Guy Bartal, Mordechai Segev, Ron Lifshitz, Demetrios N. Christodoulides, Jason W. Fleischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

206 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quasicrystals are unique structures with long-range order but no periodicity. Their properties have intrigued scientists ever since their discovery1 and initial theoretical analysis2,3. The lack of periodicity excludes the possibility of describing quasicrystal structures with well-established analytical tools, including common notions like Brillouin zones and Bloch's theorem. New and unique features such as fractal-like band structures4-7 and 'phason' degrees of freedom8 are introduced. In general, it is very difficult to directly observe the evolution of electronic waves in solid-state atomic quasicrystals, or the dynamics of the structure itself. Here we use optical induction9-11 to create two-dimensional photonic quasicrystals, whose macroscopic nature allows us to explore wave transport phenomena. We demonstrate that light launched at different quasicrystal sites travels through the lattice in a way equivalent to quantum tunnelling of electrons in a quasiperiodic potential. At high intensity, lattice solitons are formed. Finally, we directly observe dislocation dynamics when crystal sites are allowed to interact with each other. Our experimental results apply not only to photonics, but also to other quasiperiodic systems such as matter waves in quasiperiodic traps12, generic pattern-forming systems as in parametrically excited surface waves13, liquid quasicrystals14, and the more familiar atomic quasicrystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1166-1169
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume440
Issue number7088
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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    Freedman, B., Bartal, G., Segev, M., Lifshitz, R., Christodoulides, D. N., & Fleischer, J. W. (2006). Wave and defect dynamics in nonlinear photonic quasicrystals. Nature, 440(7088), 1166-1169. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04722