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Simulating Floquet topological phases in static systems

Selma Franca, Fabian Hassler, Ion Cosma Fulga

SciPost Phys. Core 4, 007 (2021) · published 15 April 2021


We show that scattering from the boundary of static, higher-order topological insulators (HOTIs) can be used to simulate the behavior of (time-periodic) Floquet topological insulators. We consider D-dimensional HOTIs with gapless corner states which are weakly probed by external waves in a scattering setup. We find that the unitary reflection matrix describing back-scattering from the boundary of the HOTI is topologically equivalent to a (D-1)-dimensional nontrivial Floquet operator. To characterize the topology of the reflection matrix, we introduce the concept of `nested' scattering matrices. Our results provide a route to engineer topological Floquet systems in the lab without the need for external driving. As benefit, the topological system does not to suffer from decoherence and heating.

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