Topological quantization of energy transport in micromechanical and nanomechanical lattices

Chih Chun Chien, Kirill A. Velizhanin, Yonatan Dubi, B. Robert Ilic, Michael Zwolak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Topological effects typically discussed in the context of quantum physics are emerging as one of the central paradigms of physics. Here, we demonstrate the role of topology in energy transport through dimerized micro- and nanomechanical lattices in the classical regime, i.e., essentially "masses and springs." We show that the thermal conductance factorizes into topological and nontopological components. The former takes on three discrete values and arises due to the appearance of edge modes that prevent good contact between the heat reservoirs and the bulk, giving a length-independent reduction of the conductance. In essence, energy input at the boundary mostly stays there, an effect robust against disorder and nonlinearity. These results bridge two seemingly disconnected disciplines of physics, namely topology and thermal transport, and suggest ways to engineer thermal contacts, opening a direction to explore the ramifications of topological properties on nanoscale technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125425
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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