Ideal Weyl points and helicoid surface states in artificial photonic crystal structures

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Abstract

Weyl points are the crossings of linearly dispersing energy bands of three-dimensional crystals, providing the opportunity to explore a variety of intriguing phenomena such as topologically protected surface states and chiral anomalies. However, the lack of an ideal Weyl system in which the Weyl points all exist at the same energy and are separated from any other bands poses a serious limitation to the further development of Weyl physics and potential applications. By experimentally characterizing a microwave photonic crystal of saddle-shaped metallic coils, we observed ideal Weyl points that are related to each other through symmetry operations. Topological surface states exhibiting helicoidal structure have also been demonstrated. Our system provides a photonic platform for exploring ideal Weyl systems and developing possible topological devices.

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