This paper proposes a simple and robust scheme for all-optical control of polariton topological edge states. Topological edge states are attracting broad interest in photonics due to their remarkable ability to propagate around corners and defects without backscattering, forming the basis for disorder-robust components such as waveguides and lasers. However, their robustness poses a challenge: how can we reliably control and switch these topologically-protected edge states? In this article the authors propose a way to switch topological edge states of polariton condensates by exploiting their finite lifetime and strong nonlinear interactions. The authors consider a hollow topological lattice featuring inner and outer edges, which support a pair of counter-propagating edge states. In such a structure, by changing the frequency or amplitude of a resonant optical pump one can selectively excite or switch between the two edges, thereby controlling the propagation direction. In contrast to previous works based on using nonlinearities to induce topological phase transitions in order to switch the edge states, here the switching can be carried faster, at much lower powers, and with greater stability.
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