Condensed Matter Journal Club

Gate tunable topological valley transport in bilayer graphene

Thu, 10 Mar 2016
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Condensed Matter Journal Club
 
Mohammadhadi Azari
SFU
 
Gate tunable topological valley transport in bilayer graphene
 
Mar 10, 2016
 

Synopsis

Valley pseudospin, the quantum degree of freedom charac- terizing the degenerate valleys in energy bands, is a distinct feature of two-dimensional Dirac materials. Similar to spin, the valley pseudospin is spanned by a time-reversal pair of states, although the two valley pseudospin states transform to each other under spatial inversion. The breaking of inversion symmetry induces various valley-contrasted physical proper- ties; for instance, valley-dependent topological transport is of both scientific and technological interest. Bilayer graphene is a unique system whose intrinsic inversion symmetry can be controllably broken by a perpendicular electric field, offering a rare possibility for continuously tunable topological valley transport. We used a perpendicular gate electric field to break the inversion symmetry in bilayer graphene, and a giant nonlocal response was observed as a result of the topological transport of the valley pseudospin. We further showed that the valley transport is fully tunable by external gates, and that the nonlocal signal persists up to room temperature and over long distances. These observations challenge the current understanding of topological valley transport in a gapped system, and the robust topological transport may lead to future valleytronic applications.