Topological edge-state engineering with high-frequency electromagnetic radiation
Date of Issue2017
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
We outline here how strong light-matter interaction can be used to induce quantum phase transition between normal and topological phases in two-dimensional topological insulators. We consider the case of a HgTe quantum well, in which band inversion occurs above a critical value of the well thickness, and demonstrate that coupling between electron states and the E field from an off-resonant linearly polarized laser provides a powerful tool to control topological transitions, even for a thickness of the quantum well that is below the critical value. We also show that topological phase properties of the edge states, including their group velocity, can be tuned in a controllable way by changing the intensity of the laser field. These findings open up the possibility for new experimental means with which to investigate topological insulators and shed new light on topological-insulator-based technologies that are under active discussion.
Physical Review B
© 2017 American Physical Society (APS). This paper was published in Physical Review B and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Physical Society (APS). The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.96.205127]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.