Recent Publications

Hard x-ray angle-resolved photoemission from a buried high-mobility electron system

Novel two-dimensional electron systems at the interfaces and surfaces of transition-metal oxides recently have attracted much attention as they display tunable, intriguing properties that can be exploited in future electronic devices. Here we show that a high-mobility quasi-two-dimensional electron system with strong spin-orbit coupling can be induced at the surface of a KTaO3 (001) crystal by pulsed laser deposition of a disordered LaAlO3 film. The momentum-resolved electronic structure of the buried electron system is mapped out by hard x-ray angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. From a comparison to calculations, it is found that the band structure deviates from that of electron-doped bulk KTaO3 due to the confinement to the interface. [...]

Phys. Rev. B 106, 125137 (2022)

Ultrafast momentum-resolved hot electron dynamics in the two-dimensional topological insulator bismuthene

Two-dimensional quantum spin Hall (QSH) insulators are a promising material class for spintronic applications based on topologically protected spin currents in their edges. Yet, they have not lived up to their technological potential, as experimental realizations are scarce and limited to cryogenic temperatures. These constraints have also severely restricted characterization of their dynamical properties. Here, we report on the electron dynamics of the novel room-temperature QSH candidate bismuthene after photoexcitation using time- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We map the transiently occupied conduction band and track the full relaxation pathway of hot photocarriers. Intriguingly, we observe photocarrier lifetimes much shorter than those in conventional semiconductors. [...]

Nano Letters 22, 5420 (2022)

Effective lifting of the topological protection of quantum spin Hall edge states by edge coupling

Key concepts for the use of 2D TIs in spintronics are based on the topological protection and spin-momentum locking of their helical edge states. In this study we present experimental evidence that topological protection can be (partially) lifted by pairwise coupling of 2D TI edges in close proximity. Using direct wave function mapping via scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) we compare isolated and coupled topological edges in the 2D TI bismuthene. The latter situation is realized by natural lattice line defects and reveals distinct quasi-particle interference (QPI) patterns, identified as electronic Fabry-Pérot resonator modes. In contrast, free edges show no sign of any single-particle backscattering. [...]

 Nat. Commun. 13, 3480 (2022)

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.