Sunday, August 02, 2009

Helical Dirac fermions

A tunable topological insulator in the spin helical Dirac transport regime
Helical Dirac fermions—charge carriers that behave as massless relativistic particles with an intrinsic angular momentum (spin) locked to its translational momentum—are proposed to be the key to realizing fundamentally new phenomena in condensed matter physics

First observation of spin-helical Dirac fermions and topological phases in undoped and doped Bi2Te3 demonstrated by spin-ARPES spectroscopy
Electron systems that possess light-like dispersion relations or the conical Dirac spectrum, such as graphene and bismuth, have recently been shown to harbor unusual collective states in high magnetic fields. Such states are possible because their light-like electrons come in spin pairs that are chiral,which means that their direction of propagation is tied to a quantity called pseudospin that describes their location in the crystal lattice. An emerging direction in quantum materials research is the manipulation of atomic spin-orbit coupling to simulate the effect of a spin dependent magnetic field,in attempt to realize novel spin phases of matter. This effect has been proposed to realize systems consisting of unpaired Dirac cones that are helical, meaning their direction of propagation is tied to the electron spin itself, which are forbidden to exist in graphene or bismuth.

No comments: