Experimental observation of optical Weyl points and Fermi arc-like surface states

Jiho Noh, Sheng Huang, Daniel Leykam, Y. D. Chong, Kevin P. Chen, Mikael C. Rechtsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


Weyl fermions are hypothetical two-component massless relativistic particles in three-dimensional (3D) space, proposed by Hermann Weyl in 1929. Their band-crossing points, called 'Weyl points', carry a topological charge and are therefore highly robust. There has been much excitement over recent observations of Weyl points in microwave photonic crystals and the semimetal TaAs. Here, we report on the experimental observation of 'type-II' Weyl points of light at optical frequencies, with the photons having a strictly positive group velocity along one spatial direction. We use a 3D structure consisting of laser-written waveguides, and show the presence of type-II Weyl points by observing conical diffraction along one axis when the frequency is tuned to the Weyl point; and observing the associated Fermi arc-like surface states. The realization of Weyl points at optical frequencies allows these novel electromagnetic modes to be further explored in the context of linear, nonlinear, and quantum optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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