Abstract

We show that the synthetic gauge fields for photons provide a versatile approach to generate and control the non-Hermitian skin effect. By utilizing indirectly coupled optical ring resonator arrays with long-range couplings and on-site gain and loss, we find that the skin effect appears once the gauge field is not an integer multiple of π. In addition to tunable localization direction, the skin modes display anisotropic behaviors with frequency-dependent decay length, which can be explained by the split subregion of the generalized Brillouin zone (GBZ) and an effective model under adiabatic elimination. Through numerical simulation, we can also demonstrate exotic features in propagation effects enabled by the skin effect, including asymmetric transmission and reconfigurable accumulation interface. Our study paves the way to dynamically steer skin modes, which may find applications in laser, optical switch, and signal processing.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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