The conductance of edge states of two-dimensional topological insulators
24 November 2017
UAntwerpen, Campus Groenenborger, Room U.247 - Groenenborgerlaan 171 - 2020 Antwerpen
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Condensed Matter Theory seminar presented by Prof Thomas Schmidt from the University of Luxemburg
Two-dimensional topological insulators are characterized by behaving as insulators in the bulk whilst hosting metallic edge states. In the presence of time-reversal symmetry, these edge states have been predicted to be robust against certain backscattering mechanisms, which might make them promising candidates for low-dissipation electronics devices.
Experiments in various materials have indeed found evidence for these edge states, recently even at non-cryogenic temperatures, but dissipation always seems to be significant. Hence, it remains a question whether ideal edge states, i.e., in samples free of disorder, might at least theoretically allow for dissipationless transport.
In this talk, I will present the most important backscattering mechanisms which are effective in topological insulator edge states. Interactions either among electrons or between electrons and phonons are required to produce dissipation. I will discuss the importance of the possible interaction processes in different temperature ranges and for different system lengths, and thus estimate the maximal conductivity of an ideal edge state.
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