Self-trapping of optical vortices at the surface of an induced semi-infinite photonic lattice
We demonstrate self-trapping of singly-charged vortices at the surface of an optically induced two-dimensional photonic lattice. Under appropriate conditions of self-focusing nonlinearity, a singly-charged vortex beam can self-trap into a stable semi-infinite gap surface vortex soliton through a four-site excitation. However, a single-site excitation leads to a quasi-localized state in the first photonic gap, and our theoretical analysis illustrates that such a bandgap surface vortex soliton is always unstable. Our experimental results of stable and unstable topological surface solitons are corroborated by direct numerical simulations and linear stability analysis.