Topological phase detection through high-harmonic spectroscopy in extended Su-Schrieffer-Heeger chains

Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) chains are paradigmatic examples of 1D topological insulators hosting zero-energy edge modes when the bulk of the system has a non-zero topological winding invariant. Recently, high-harmonic spectroscopy has been suggested as a tool for detecting the topological phase. Specifically, it has been shown that when the SSH chain is coupled to an external laser field of a frequency much smaller than the band gap, the emitted light at harmonic frequencies strongly differs between the trivial and the topological phase. However, it remains unclear whether various non-trivial topological phases – differing in the number of edge states – can also be distinguished by the high harmonic generation (HHG). In this paper, we investigate this problem by studying an extended version of the SSH chain with extended-range hoppings, resulting in a topological model with different topological phases. We explicitly show that HHG spectra are a sensitive and suitable tool for distinguishing topological phases when there is more than one topological phase. We also propose a quantitative scheme based on tuning the filling of the system to precisely locate the number of edge modes in each topological phase of this chain.