Physical Review Letters

Modulated Rashba-Dresselhaus Spin-Orbit Coupling for Topology Control and Analog Simulations

Download paper


We show theoretically that Rashba-Dresselhaus spin-orbit coupling (RDSOC) in lattices acts as a synthetic gauge field. This allows us to control both the phase and the magnitude of tunneling coefficients between sites, which is the key ingredient to implement topological Hamitonians and spin lattices useful for simulation perspectives. We use liquid crystal based microcavities in which RDSOC can be switched on and off as a model platform. We propose a realistic scheme for implementation of a Su-Schrieffer-Heeger chain in which the edge states existence can be tuned, and a Harper-Hofstadter model with a tunable contrasted flux for each (pseudo)spin component. We further show that a transverse-field Ising model and classical XY Hamiltonian with tunable parameters can be implemented, opening up prospects for analog physics, simulations, and optimization.