Higher-order Floquet topological phases with corner and bulk bound states

Rodriguez-Vega, Martin
Kumar, Abhishek
Seradjeh, Babak
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We report the theoretical discovery and characterization of higher-order Floquet topological phases dynamically generated in a periodically driven system with mirror symmetries. We demonstrate numerically and analytically that these phases support lower-dimensional Floquet bound states, such as corner Floquet bound states at the intersection of edges of a two-dimensional system, protected by the nonequilibrium higher-order topology induced by the periodic drive. We characterize higher-order Floquet topologies of the bulk Floquet Hamiltonian using mirror-graded Floquet topological invariants. This allows for the characterization of a new class of higher-order "anomalous" Floquet topological phase, where the corners of the open system host Floquet bound states with the same as well as with double the period of the drive. Moreover, we show that bulk vortex structures can be dynamically generated by a drive that is spatially inhomogeneous. We show these bulk vortices can host multiple Floquet bound states. This "stirring drive protocol" leverages a connection between higher-order topologies and previously studied fractionally charged, bulk topological defects. Our work establishes Floquet engineering of higher-order topological phases and bulk defects beyond equilibrium classification and offers a versatile tool for dynamical generation and control of topologically protected Floquet corner and bulk bound states.