Publication Date

2-18-2020

Department

Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy

Campus Units

Ames Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy

OSTI ID+

1602054

Report Number

IS-J 10166

DOI

10.1038/s41535-020-0215-7

Journal Title

npj Quantum Materials

Volume Number

5

First Page

13

Abstract

The demand for disorder-tolerant quantum logic and spin electronics can be met by generating and controlling dissipationless spin currents protected by topology. Dirac fermions with helical spin-locking surface transport offer a way of achieving such a goal. Yet, surface-bulk coupling can lead to strong Dirac electron scattering with bulk carriers and phonons as well as impurities, assisted by such dissipative channel, which results in “topological breakdown”. Here, we demonstrate that coherent lattice vibrations periodically driven by a single-cycle terahertz (THz) pulse can significantly suppress such dissipative channel in topological insulators. This is achieved by reducing the phase space in the bulk available for Dirac fermion scattering into during coherent lattice oscillations in Bi2Se3. This light-induced suppression manifests as a remarkable transition exclusively in surface transport, absent for bulk, above the THz electric fields for driving coherent phonons, which prolongs the surface transport lifetime. These results, together with simulations, identify the critical role of spin–orbit coupling for the “phase space contraction” mechanism that suppresses the surface-bulk coupling. Imposing vibrational quantum coherence into topological states of matter may become a universal light control principle for reinforcing the symmetry-protected helical transport.

DOE Contract Number(s)

AC02-07CH11358

Language

en

Department of Energy Subject Categories

36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Publisher

Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)

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