Science, Vol.370, No.6516, 600-604, 2020
Generation of helical topological exciton-polaritons
Topological photonics in strongly coupled light-matter systems offer the possibility for fabricating tunable optical devices that are robust against disorder and defects. Topological polaritons, i.e., hybrid exciton-photon quasiparticles, have been proposed to demonstrate scatter-free chiral propagation, but their experimental realization to date has been at deep cryogenic temperatures and under strong magnetic fields. We demonstrate helical topological polaritons up to 200 kelvin without external magnetic field in monolayer WS2 excitons coupled to a nontrivial photonic crystal protected by pseudo time-reversal symmetry. The helical nature of the topological polaritons, where polaritons with opposite helicities are transported to opposite directions, is verified. Topological helical polaritons provide a platform for developing robust and tunable polaritonic spintronic devices for classical and quantum information-processing applications.