Synthetic Three-Dimensional Z × Z2 Topological Insulator in an Elastic Metacrystal

Wei Wang, Ze-Guo Chen, Guancong Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We report a three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI) formed by stacking identical layers of Chern insulators in a hybrid real-synthetic space. By introducing staggered interlayer hopping that respects mirror symmetry, the bulk bands possess an additional Z2 topological invariant along the stacking dimension, which, together with the nontrivial Chern numbers, endows the system with a Z×Z2 topology. A 4-tuple topological index characterizes the system’s bulk bands. Consequently, two distinct types of topological surface modes (TSMs) are found localized on different surfaces. Type-I TSMs are gapless and are protected by Chern numbers, whereas type-II gapped TSMs are protected by Z2 bulk polarization in the stacking direction. Remarkably, each type-II TSM band is also topologically nontrivial, giving rise to second-order topological hinge modes (THMs). Both types of TSMs and the THMs are experimentally observed in an elastic metacrystal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number214302
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Early online date17 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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