Journal Club

Fall 2019
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
10/04/2019 Mohammad Zarenia, Giovanni Vignale
Journal Club, October 4, 2019
1:00 pm:  Mohammad Zarenia, Correlated Insulating and Superconducting States in Twisted Bilayer Graphene Below the Magic Angle Reference/Arxiv: Science Advances 5, 9 (2019)/arXiv:1902.05151  ABSTRACT The emergence of flat bands and correlated behaviors in “magic angle” twisted bilayer graphene (tBLG) has sparked tremendous interest, though many aspects of the system are under intense debate. Here we report observation of both superconductivity and the Mott-like insulating state in a tBLG device with a twist angle of ~0.93o, which is smaller than the magic angle by 15%. At an electron concentration of ±5 electrons/moiré unit cell, we observe a narrow resistance peak with an activation energy gap ~0.1 meV, indicating the existence of an additional correlated insulating state. This is consistent with theory predicting the presence of a high-energy band with an energetically flat dispersion. At a doping of ±12 electrons/moiré unit cell we observe a resistance peak due to the presence of Dirac points in the spectrum. Our results reveal that the "magic" range of tBLG is in fact larger than what is previously expected, and provide a wealth of new information to help decipher the strongly correlated phenomena observed in tBLG. ======================================================================================================================================== 1:10 pm: Giovanni Vignale, Nanoscale imaging of equilibrium quantum Hall edge currents and of the magnetic monopole response in graphene Reference/Arxiv: arXiv:1908.02466 ABSTRACT The recently predicted topological magnetoelectric effect [1] and the response to an electric charge that mimics an induced mirror magnetic monopole [2] are fundamental attributes of topological states of matter with broken time reversal symmetry. Using a SQUID-on-tip [3], acting simultaneously as a tunable scanning electric charge and as ultrasensitive nanoscale magnetometer, we induce and directly image the microscopic currents generating the magnetic monopole response in a graphene quantum Hall electron system. We find a rich and complex nonlinear behavior governed by coexistence of topological and nontopological equilibrium currents that is not captured by the monopole models [2]. Furthermore, by utilizing a tuning fork that induces nanoscale vibrations of the SQUID-on-tip, we directly image the equilibrium currents of individual quantum Hall edge states for the first time. We reveal that the edge states that are commonly assumed to carry only a chiral downstream current, in fact carry a pair of counterpropagating currents [4], in which the topological downstream current in the incompressible region is always counterbalanced by heretofore unobserved nontopological upstream current flowing in the adjacent compressible region. The intricate patterns of the counterpropagating equilibrium-state orbital currents provide new insights into the microscopic origins of the topological and nontopological charge and energy flow in quantum Hall systems.
10/11/2019 Sorb Yesudhas
Thermal unequilibrium of strained black CsPbI3 thin films
The high-temperature, all-inorganic CsPbI3 perovskite black phase is metastable relative to its yellow, nonperovskite phase at room temperature. Because only the black phase is optically active, this represents an impediment for the use of CsPbI3 in optoelectronic devices. We report the use of substrate clamping and biaxial strain to render black-phase CsPbI3 thin films stable at room temperature. We used synchrotron-based, grazing incidence, wide-angle x-ray scattering to track the introduction of crystal distortions and strain-driven texture formation within black CsPbI3 thin films when they were cooled after annealing at 330°C. The thermal stability of black CsPbI3 thin films is vastly improved by the strained interface, a response verified by ab initio thermodynamic modeling. 
10/11/2019 Pengtao Shen
Precession-free domain wall dynamics in compensated ferrimagnets
One fundamental obstacle to efficient ferromagnetic spintronics is magnetic precession, which intrinsically limits the dynamics of magnetic textures. It was recently shown that higher domain wall (DW) mobility (Caretta 2018; Hrabec 2018; Kim 2017; Siddiqui 2018; Yang 2015), lower topological deflection of skyrmions (Hirata 2019; Woo 2018), and lower critical currents (Bang 2016; Woo et al. 2018) could be obtained by using materials with multiple spin sub-lattices, such as antiferromagnets, ferrimagnets, or synthetic antiferromagnets. We study DWs driven by spin-orbit torque in a ferrimagnetic GdFeCo/Pt track, and we demonstrate that the DW precession fully vanishes with a record mobility at the temperature for which the net angular momentum is compensated (TAC). We use a new method based on transverse in-plane fields that reveals the internal structure of DWs and provides a robust and parameter-free measurement of TAC. Our results put in a clear light the mechanism of faster and more efficient dynamics in systems with a reduced net angular momentum and their promise for high-speed, low-power spintronics applications.
10/11/2019 Johnson Lu
Discovery of topological Weyl fermion lines and drumhead surface states in a room temperature magnet
Topological matter is known to exhibit unconventional surface states and anomalous transport owing to unusual bulk electronic topology. In this study, we use photoemission spectroscopy and quantum transport to elucidate the topology of the room temperature magnet Co2MnGa. We observe sharp bulk Weyl fermion line dispersions indicative of nontrivial topological invariants present in the magnetic phase. On the surface of the magnet, we observe electronic wave functions that take the form of drumheads, enabling us to directly visualize the crucial components of the bulk-boundary topological correspondence. By considering the Berry curvature field associated with the observed topological Weyl fermion lines, we quantitatively account for the giant anomalous Hall response observed in this magnet. Our experimental results suggest a rich interplay of strongly interacting electrons and topology in quantum matter.
10/11/2019 Jacob Cook
Transport evidence for three dimensional topological superconductivity in doped β-PdBi2
Interest in topological states of matter exploded over a decade ago with the theoretical prediction and experimental detection of three-dimensional topological insulators, especially in bulk materials that can be tuned out of it by doping. However, their superconducting counterpart, the time-reversal invariant three-dimensional topological superconductor, has evaded discovery thus far. In this work, we provide transport evidence that K-doped β-PdBi2 is a 3D time-reversal-invariant topological superconductor. In particular, we find signatures of Majorana surface states protected by time-reversal symmetry--the hallmark of this phase--in soft point-contact spectroscopy, while the bulk system shows signatures of odd-parity pairing via upper-critical field and magnetization measurements. Odd-parity pairing can be argued, using existing knowledge of the band structure of β-PdBi2, to result in 3D topological superconductivity. Moreover, we find that the undoped system is a trivial superconductor. Thus, we discover β-PdBi2 as a unique material that, on doping, can potentially undergo an unprecedented topological quantum phase transition in the superconducting state.
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
10/25/2019 Erica Hroblak
A Wigner molecule at extremely low densities: a numerically exact study
In this work we investigate Wigner localization at very low densities by means of the exact diagonalization of the Hamiltonian. This yields numerically exact results. In particular, we study a quasi-one-dimensional system of two electrons that are confined to a ring by three-dimensional gaussians placed along the ring perimeter. To characterize the Wigner localization we study several appropriate observables, namely the two-body reduced density matrix, the localization tensor and the particle-hole entropy. We show that the localization tensor is the most promising quantity to study Wigner localization since it accurately captures the transition from the delocalized to the localized state and it can be applied to systems of all sizes.
10/25/2019 Sayantika Bhowal
Optically-Controlled Orbitronics on a Triangular Lattice
The propagation of electrons in an orbital multiplet dispersing on a lattice can support anomalous transport phenomena deriving from an orbitally-induced Berry curvature. In striking contrast to the related situation in graphene, we find that anomalous transport for an L=1 multiplet on the primitive 2D triangular lattice is activated by easily implemented on-site and optically-tunable potentials. We demonstrate this for dynamics in a Bloch band where point degeneracies carrying opposite winding numbers are generically offset in energy, allowing both an anomalous charge Hall conductance with sign selected by off-resonance coupling to circularly-polarized light and a related anomalous orbital Hall conductance activated by layer buckling.L=1multiplet on the primitive 2D triangular lattice is activated by easily implemented on-site and optically-tunable potentials. We demonstrate this for dynamics in a Bloch band where point degeneracies carrying opposite winding numbers are generically offset in energy, allowing both an anomalous charge Hall conductance with sign selected by off-resonance coupling to circularly-polarized light and a related anomalous orbital Hall conductance activated by layer buckling.
10/25/2019 Bian Guang
Quantum phase transition from axion insulator to Chern insulator in MnBi2Te4
Finding novel topological quantum matter and topological phase transitions has been a central theme in modern physics. An outstanding example is the Chern insulator, first conceived as a theoretical model for the quantum Hall effect without Landau levels, which was realized experimentally in magnetically doped topological insulator (TI) at zero magnetic field, known as the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect. The axion insulator is another distinct topological phase that has vanishing Chern number but a finite topological Chern-Simon term. It was proposed to be a promising platform for exploring quantized topological magnetoelectric coupling and axion electrodynamics in condensed matter. Previous attempts to construct the axion insulator phase involve heterostructures of two QAH layers with different coercive fields, which require complex epitaxial growth and ultralow temperature measurement in finite magnetic field. Here we report the realization of an intrinsic axion insulator phase in MnBi2Te4, which has been predicted to be a TI with interlayer antiferromagnetic (AFM) order. We found that when the crystal is exfoliated down to 6 septuple layers (SLs) and tuned into the insulating regime, the axion insulator phase is observed at zero magnetic field when the top and bottom surfaces are subjected to opposite magnetization. More interestingly, a moderate magnetic field drives a transition from the axion insulator phase, characterized by large longitudinal resistance and zero Hall resistance, to a Chern insulator with zero longitudinal resistance and quantized Hall resistance h/e2 (h is the Plank constant and e is the elemental charge). The robust and tunable axion insulator and Chern insulator phases hosted by one stoichiometric crystal at relatively high temperature makes it a versatile system for investigating exotic topological phases and phase transitions.
11/15/2019 Payal Bhattacharya
External Electric Field Induced Second-Order Nonlinear Optical Effects in Hexagonal Graphene Quantum Dots
Reference/Arxiv: J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 20020−20025
11/15/2019 Aditya Putatunda
Quantum Criticality: Competing Ground States in Low Dimensions
Reference/Arxiv: Sachdev, Science 288, 475-480 (2000)
11/15/2019 Alberto Albesa
Conic shapes have higher sensitivity than cylindrical ones in nanopore DNA sequencing
Subscribe to Journal Club