Recent Publications

Partial gap in two-leg ladders with Rashba effect and its experimental signatures in Si(553)-Au

We study the effects of Rashba splitting on two-leg ladders with weakly screened Coulomb interactions. Past research has shown that in this class of systems the two backscattering channels with the largest amplitude favor ordering of canonically conjugated collective fields which effectively renders the system gapless. Here we show that the band-dependent Rashba spin-orbit interaction breaks this symmetry of scattering channels, leading to a new fixed point with yet unexplored instabilities. Exotic properties can be found, for instance, the mixing of the magnetism with the charge-density wave. We then investigate the physical consequences of this partial spectral gap opening. We find a striking difference in signatures of order observed in single-particle (spectral-function) and two-body (susceptibilities) experimental probes. [...]

Phys. Rev. B 104, 205407 (2021)

Photoemission study of pristine and Ni-doped SrTiO3 thin films

We combined photoelectron spectroscopy with first-principles calculations to investigate electronic properties of SrTiO3 doped with Ni impurities. High-quality epitaxial pristine SrTiO3 and SrTiO3:Nix films with x = 0.06 and 0.12 were prepared by pulsed laser deposition. Electronic band structure calculations for the ground state, as well as one-step model photoemission calculations, which were obtained by means of the Korringa-Kohn-Rostoker Green’s function method, predict the formation of localized 3d-impurity bands in the band gap of SrTiO3 close to the valence band maxima. The measured valence bands at the resonance Ni 2p excitation and band dispersion confirm these findings. [...]

Phys. Rev. B 104, 165129 (2021)

Design and realization of topological Dirac fermions on a triangular lattice

Large-gap quantum spin Hall insulators are promising materials for room-temperature applications based on Dirac fermions. Following Kane and Mele’s original suggestion, one approach is to synthesize monolayers of heavy atoms with honeycomb coordination accommodated on templates with hexagonal symmetry. Yet, in the majority of cases, this recipe leads to triangular lattices, typically hosting metals or trivial insulators. Here, we conceive and realize “indenene”, a triangular monolayer of indium on SiC exhibiting non-trivial valley physics driven by local spin-orbit coupling, which prevails over inversion-symmetry breaking terms. By means of tunneling microscopy of the 2D bulk we identify the quantum spin Hall phase of this triangular lattice and unveil how a hidden honeycomb connectivity emerges from interference patterns in Bloch px ± ipy-derived wave functions. [...]

Nature Commun. 12, 5396 (2021)

Research Groups

Nanophysics at surfaces

The research activities of our group are concerned with the physics of low-dimensional systems, where the electron states resulting from dimensional confinement lead to unusual conduction properties and to phase transitions as a function of temperature.

Oxide interfaces

Our group focusses on the electronic structure of correlated systems in transition metal oxides (TMOs). Special interest lies in the interplay of different degrees of freedom (charge, spin, orbital, lattice) in the light of metal-insulator and other phase transitions.

Neutron and resonant X-ray spectroscopy

In our group we investigate complex, functional materials such as transition metal oxides, which are used in the emerging field of correlated nanoelectronics. Unlike with conventional semiconductors, exotic superconducting, orbital and magnetic states can be realized at the interfaces in layered structures comprising such materials.

Cooperations