Banfield, Ian Matthew. “Baskets, Staircases and Sutured Khovanov Homology”, Boston College, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108149.
We use the Birman-Ko-Lee presentation of the braid group to show that all closures of strongly quasipositive braids whose normal form contains a positive power of the dual Garside element δ are ﬁbered. We classify links which admit such a braid representative in geometric terms as boundaries of plumbings of positive Hopf bands to a disk. Rudolph constructed ﬁbered strongly quasipositive links as closures of positive words on certain generating sets of Bₙ and we prove that Rudolph’s condition is equivalent to ours. We compute the sutured Khovanov homology groups of positive braid closures in homological degrees i = 0,1 as sl₂(ℂ)-modules. Given a condition on the sutured Khovanov homology of strongly quasipositive braids, we show that the sutured Khovanov homology of the closure of strongly quasipositive braids whose normal form contains a positive power of the dual Garside element agrees with that of positive braid closures in homological degrees i ≤ 1 and show this holds for the class of such braids on three strands.