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Quantum transport of two-species Dirac fermions in dual-gated three-dimensional topological insulators

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      Abstract

      Topological insulators (TI) are a novel class of quantum matter with a gapped insulating bulk yet gapless spin helical Dirac fermion conducting surface states. Here, we report local and non-local electrical and magneto transport measurements in dual-gated \(BiSbTeSe_2\) thin film TI devices, with conduction dominated by the spatially separated top and bottom surfaces, each hosting a single species of Dirac fermions with independent gate control over the carrier type and density. We observe many intriguing quantum transport phenomena in such a fully-tunable two-species topological Dirac gas, including a zero-magnetic-field minimum conductivity of ~\(4e^{2}/h\) at the double Dirac point, a series of ambipolar two-component "half-integer" Dirac quantum Hall states and an electron-hole total filling factor \(\nu\)=0 state (with a zero-Hall plateau), exhibiting dissipationless (chiral) and dissipative (non-chiral) edge conduction respectively. Such a system paves the way to explore rich physics ranging from topological magnetoelectric effects to exciton condensation.

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      Two-Dimensional Gas of Massless Dirac Fermions in Graphene

      Electronic properties of materials are commonly described by quasiparticles that behave as non-relativistic electrons with a finite mass and obey the Schroedinger equation. Here we report a condensed matter system where electron transport is essentially governed by the Dirac equation and charge carriers mimic relativistic particles with zero mass and an effective "speed of light" c* ~10^6m/s. Our studies of graphene - a single atomic layer of carbon - have revealed a variety of unusual phenomena characteristic of two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions. In particular, we have observed that a) the integer quantum Hall effect in graphene is anomalous in that it occurs at half-integer filling factors; b) graphene's conductivity never falls below a minimum value corresponding to the conductance quantum e^2/h, even when carrier concentrations tend to zero; c) the cyclotron mass m of massless carriers with energy E in graphene is described by equation E =mc*^2; and d) Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in graphene exhibit a phase shift of pi due to Berry's phase.
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        Experimental observation of the quantum Hall effect and Berry's phase in graphene.

        When electrons are confined in two-dimensional materials, quantum-mechanically enhanced transport phenomena such as the quantum Hall effect can be observed. Graphene, consisting of an isolated single atomic layer of graphite, is an ideal realization of such a two-dimensional system. However, its behaviour is expected to differ markedly from the well-studied case of quantum wells in conventional semiconductor interfaces. This difference arises from the unique electronic properties of graphene, which exhibits electron-hole degeneracy and vanishing carrier mass near the point of charge neutrality. Indeed, a distinctive half-integer quantum Hall effect has been predicted theoretically, as has the existence of a non-zero Berry's phase (a geometric quantum phase) of the electron wavefunction--a consequence of the exceptional topology of the graphene band structure. Recent advances in micromechanical extraction and fabrication techniques for graphite structures now permit such exotic two-dimensional electron systems to be probed experimentally. Here we report an experimental investigation of magneto-transport in a high-mobility single layer of graphene. Adjusting the chemical potential with the use of the electric field effect, we observe an unusual half-integer quantum Hall effect for both electron and hole carriers in graphene. The relevance of Berry's phase to these experiments is confirmed by magneto-oscillations. In addition to their purely scientific interest, these unusual quantum transport phenomena may lead to new applications in carbon-based electronic and magneto-electronic devices.
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          Boron nitride substrates for high-quality graphene electronics

           P. Kim,  C. Dean,  J. Hone (2010)
          Graphene devices on standard SiO2 substrates are highly disordered, exhibiting characteristics far inferior to the expected intrinsic properties of graphene[1-12]. While suspending graphene above the substrate yields substantial improvement in device quality[13,14], this geometry imposes severe limitations on device architecture and functionality. Realization of suspended-like sample quality in a substrate supported geometry is essential to the future progress of graphene technology. In this Letter, we report the fabrication and characterization of high quality exfoliated mono- and bilayer graphene (MLG and BLG) devices on single crystal hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) substrates, by a mechanical transfer process. Variable-temperature magnetotransport measurements demonstrate that graphene devices on h-BN exhibit enhanced mobility, reduced carrier inhomogeneity, and reduced intrinsic doping in comparison with SiO2-supported devices. The ability to assemble crystalline layered materials in a controlled way sets the stage for new advancements in graphene electronics and enables realization of more complex graphene heterostructres.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            2015-11-14
            1511.04597

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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            22 pages, including 4 figures in main text, 3 figures in supplemental material
            cond-mat.mes-hall

            Nanophysics

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