Photonic graphene, a honeycomb lattice of evanescently coupled waveguides, has provided a superior platform for investigating a host of fundamental phenomena such as unconventional edge states, synthetic magnetic fields, photonic Landau levels, Floquet topological insulators, and pseudospin effects. Here, we demonstrate both experimentally and numerically, topological vortex degeneracy lifting and Aharonov–Bohm-like interference from local deformation in a photonic honeycomb lattice. When a single valley is excited, lattice deformation leads to the generation of a vortex pair due to the lifting of degeneracy associated with pseudospin states. In the case of double-valley excitation, we observe the Aharonov–Bohm-like interference merely due to the deformation of the graphene lattice, which gives rise to an artificial gauge field. Our results may provide insight into the understanding of similar phenomena in other graphene-like materials and structures.
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