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Skin modes in a nonlinear Hatano-Nelson model

Bertin Many MandaRicardo Carretero-Gonz\'alezPanayotis G. KevrekidisVassos Achilleos
Nov 2023
Non-Hermitian lattices with non-reciprocal couplings under open boundary conditions are known to possess linear modes exponentially localized on one edge of the chain. This phenomenon, dubbed non-Hermitian skin effect, induces all input waves in the linearized limit of the system to unidirectionally propagate toward the system's preferred boundary. Here we investigate the fate of the non-Hermitian skin effect in the presence of Kerr-type nonlinearity within the well-established Hatano-Nelson lattice model. Our method is to probe the presence of nonlinear stationary modes which are localized at the favored edge, when the Hatano-Nelson model deviates from the linear regime. Based on perturbation theory, we show that families of nonlinear skin modes emerge from the linear ones at any non-reciprocal strength. Our findings reveal that, in the case of focusing nonlinearity, these families of nonlinear skin modes tend to exhibit enhanced localization, bridging the gap between weakly nonlinear modes and the highly nonlinear states (discrete solitons) when approaching the anti-continuum limit with vanishing couplings. Conversely, for defocusing nonlinearity, these nonlinear skin modes tend to become more extended than their linear counterpart. To assess the stability of these solutions, we conduct a linear stability analysis across the entire spectrum of obtained nonlinear modes and also explore representative examples of their evolution dynamics.
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