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We demonstrate that topologically nontrivial states of light can be engineered in periodic photonic structures containing media with a Tellegen-type bianisotropic response. Whilst in such bianisotropic materials the time-reversal symmetry is broken, they are characterized by an intrinsic magnetic order which does not require macroscopic magnetization. Our design can therefore be considered as a direct analog of the solid state Chern insulator which exhibits a topological order in the absence of an external bias. Numerical simulations of such Tellegen photonic crystals reveal the existence of one way edge transport at domain walls and perfectly conducting boundaries not sensitive to structural imperfections such as local defects and disorder. We demonstrate a scheme for achieving robust steering of the edge modes by controlling the phase and amplitude of the source.


This article was originally published in New Journal of Physics, available at doi:10.1088/1367-2630/17/12/125015.

This work was distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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