In this work, we use Wannier functions to analyze topological phase transitions in one-dimensional photonic crystals. We first review the construction of exponentially localized Wannier functions in one dimension, and show how to numerically construct them for photonic systems. We then apply these tools to study a photonic analog of the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger model. We use photonic Wannier functions to construct a quantitatively accurate approximate model for the topological phase transition, and compute the localization of topological defect states. Finally, we discuss the implications of our work for the study of band representations for photonic crystals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics