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Transport Signatures of Dirac electrons in a random magnetic field

January 29, 2018 - 11:00am
Hilary Hurst

Abstract: In this talk we consider the proximity effect between Dirac states at the surface of a topological insulator and a ferromagnet with easy plane anisotropy, which is described by the XY-model and undergoes a Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) vortex unbinding phase transition. The surface states of the topological insulator interacting with classical magnetic fluctuations of the ferromagnet can be mapped onto the problem of Dirac fermions in a random magnetic field. However, this analogy is only partial in the presence of electron-hole asymmetry or warping of the Dirac dispersion, which results in screening of magnetic fluctuations. Scattering at magnetic fluctuations influences the behavior of the surface resistivity as a function of temperature. Near the BKT phase transition temperature we find that the resistivity of surface states scales linearly with temperature and has a clear maximum which becomes more pronounced as the Fermi energy decreases. Additionally at low temperatures we find linear resistivity, which is usually associated with non-Fermi liquid behavior but here it appears entirely within the Fermi liquid picture.


Reference: Hurst, H. M., Efimkin, D. K., and Galitski, V. (2016). "Transport of Dirac electrons in a random magnetic field in topological heterostructures." Physical Review B, 93(24), 245111.

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