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Theoretische Physik I

Recent Research Topics

Nachfolgend finden Sie 3 ausgewählte aktuelle Forschungsthemen.

Bismuthene on a SiC substrate: A candidate for a high-temperature quantum spin Hall material

Quantum spin Hall materials hold the promise of revolutionary devices with dissipationless spin currents but have required cryogenic temperatures owing to small energy gaps. Here we show theoretically that a room-temperature regime with a large energy gap may be achievable within a paradigm that exploits the atomic spin-orbit coupling.

The concept is based on a substrate-supported monolayer of a high–atomic number element and is experimentally realized as a bismuth honeycomb lattice on top of the insulating silicon carbide substrate SiC(0001). Using scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we detect a gap of ~0.8 electron volt and conductive edge states consistent with theory.

Our combined theoretical and experimental results demonstrate a concept for a quantum spin Hall wide-gap scenario, where the chemical potential resides in the global system gap, ensuring robust edge conductance.

Local magnetic moments in iron and nickel at ambient and Earth’s core conditions

Some Bravais lattices have a particular geometry that can slow down the motion of Bloch electrons by pre-localization due to the band-structure properties. Another known source of electronic localization in solids is the Coulomb repulsion in partially filled d or f orbitals, which leads to the formation of local magnetic moments. The combination of these two effects is usually considered of little relevance to strongly correlated materials. Here we show that it represents, instead, the underlying physical mechanism in two of the most important ferromagnets: nickel and iron. In nickel, the van Hove singularity has an unexpected impact on the magnetism. As a result, the electron–electron scattering rate is linear in temperature, in violation of the conventional Landau theory of metals. This is true even at Earth’s core pressures, at which iron is instead a good Fermi liquid. The importance of nickel in models of geomagnetism may have therefore to be reconsidered.

Scaling of the Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect as an Indicator of Axion Electrodynamics

We report on the scaling behavior of V-doped (Bi,Sb)2Te3 samples in the quantum anomalous Hall regime for samples of various thickness. While previous quantum anomalous Hall measurements showed the same scaling as expected from a two-dimensional integer quantum Hall state, we observe a dimensional crossover to three spatial dimensions as a function of layer thickness. In the limit of a sufficiently thick layer, we find scaling behavior matching the flow diagram of two parallel conducting topological surface states of a three-dimensional topological insulator each featuring a fractional shift of 12e2/h in the flow diagram Hall conductivity, while we recover the expected integer quantum Hall behavior for thinner layers. This constitutes the observation of a distinct type of quantum anomalous Hall effect, resulting from 12e2/h Hall conductance quantization of three-dimensional topological insulator surface states, in an experiment which does not require decomposition of the signal to separate the contribution of two surfaces. This provides a possible experimental link between quantum Hall physics and axion electrodynamics.