Topologically protected optical signal processing using parity-time-symmetric oscillation quenching

Sunkyu Yu, Xianji Piao, Namkyoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The concept of topology is universally observed in various physical objects when the objects can be described by geometric structures. Although a representative example is the knotted geometry of wavefunctions in reciprocal space for quantum Hall family and topological insulators, topological states have also been defined for other physical quantities, such as topologically distinct Fermi surfaces and enhanced lattice degrees of freedom in hyperbolic geometry. Here, we investigate a different class of topological states - topological geometry of dynamical state trajectories - in non-Hermitian and nonlinear optical dynamics, revealing topologically protected oscillation quenching mechanisms determined by parity-time (PT) symmetry. For coupled systems composed of nonlinear gain and loss elements, we classify the topology of equilibria separately for unbroken and broken PT symmetry, which result in distinct oscillation quenching mechanisms: amplitude death and oscillation death. We then show that these PT-symmetric quenching mechanisms lead to immunity against temporal perturbations, enabling the applications of topologically protected laser modulation and rectification. The observed connection between the topological geometry of dynamical states, oscillation quenching phenomena in dynamical systems theory, and PT symmetry provides a powerful toolkit for noise-immune signal processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2883-2891
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • amplitude death
  • noise-immune signal processing
  • oscillation death
  • oscillation quenching
  • parity-time symmetry
  • topology


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