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Séminaire MCBT

Mardi 10 septembre 2019 à 11h00

Orateur : Arthur Marguerite, Weizmann Institute of Science

Imaging the work, dissipation and topological protection in the quantum Hall state Topology is a powerful recent concept asserting that quantum states could be globally protected against local perturbations1,2. Dissipationless topologically protected states are thus of major fundamental interest as well as of practical importance in metrology and quantum information technology. Although topological protection can be robust theoretically, in realistic devices it is often fragile against various dissipative mechanisms, which are difficult to probe directly because of their microscopic origins. By utilizing scanning nanothermometry3, we visualize and investigate microscopic mechanisms undermining the topological protection in the quantum Hall state in graphene. Our simultaneous nanoscale thermal and scanning gate microscopy reveals that the dissipation is governed by crosstalk between counterpropagating pairs of downstream and upstream channels that appear at graphene boundaries because of edge reconstruction. Instead of local Joule heating, the dissipation mechanism comprises two distinct and spatially separated processes, which we resolve and image independently. The work generating process involves elastic tunneling of charge carriers between the quantum channels, which directly affects the transport properties but does not generate local heat. The heat and entropy generation process occurs nonlocally upon inelastic resonant scattering off single atomic defects at graphene edges. Our work offers a crucial insight into the mechanisms responsible for the breakdown of topological protection and suggests venues for engineering more robust quantum states for device applications.

1. Hasan, M. Z. & Kane, C. L. Colloquium : Topological insulators. Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 3045–3067 (2010). 2. Qi, X.-L. & Zhang, S.-C. Topological insulators and superconductors. Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 1057–1110 (2011). 3. Halbertal, D. et al. Nanoscale thermal imaging of dissipation in quantum systems. Nature 539, 407–410 (2016).

Hope to see you there ! Matteo d’Astuto, Cécile Delacour & Andrew Fefferman

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