Quantum electronic transport in atomically layered topological insulators
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics.
MetadataShow full item record
The merger of topology and symmetry established a new foundation for understanding the physics of condensed matter, beginning with the notion of topological insulators (TIs) for electronic systems. For the time-reversal invariant TIs, a key aspect is the "helical" mode at the boundary of the system - that is, the ID edge of a 2D topological insulator or the 2D surface of a 3D topological insulator. These helical modes represent the extreme limit of spin-orbit coupling in that the spin-degenercy has been completely lifted while preserving time-reversal symmetry. This property is crucial for proposals realizing exotic excitations like the Majorana bound state. In this thesis, I present a series of experiments investigating electronic transport through the boundary modes of 3D and 2D topological insulators, specifically Bi1.5 Sb0.5 Te1.7 Se1.3 and monolayer WTe 2 , respectively. For the case of ultra-thin WTe 2 , I also present experiments detailing investigations of the 2D bulk states, finding a semimetallic state for the trilayer and a superconducting phase for the monolayer, both of which are strongly tunable by the electric field effect. The discovery of 2D topological insulator and 2D superconductor phases within the same material, accessible by standard solid state elecrostatic gates, places WTe2 in a unique situation among both TIs and superconductors, potentially enabling gate-configurable topological devices within a homogenous material platform.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-180).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology