skip to main content

Title: Imaging currents in HgTe quantum wells in the quantum spin Hall regime

The quantum spin Hall (QSH) state is a state of matter characterized by a non-trivial topology of its band structure, and associated conducting edge channels. The QSH state was predicted and experimentally demonstrated to be realized in HgTe quantum wells. The existence of the edge channels has been inferred from local and non-local transport measurements in sufficiently small devices. Here we directly confirm the existence of the edge channels by imaging the magnetic fields produced by current flowing in large Hall bars made from HgTe quantum wells. These images distinguish between current that passes through each edge and the bulk. On tuning the bulk conductivity by gating or raising the temperature, we observe a regime in which the edge channels clearly coexist with the conducting bulk, providing input to the question of how ballistic transport may be limited in the edge channels. Our results represent a versatile method for characterization of new QSH materials systems.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Materials; Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 9
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS imaging techniques; quantum hall; quantum mechanics; topological insulators; two-dimensional materials