Development and application of HgTe/CdTe topological insulators : electronic transport and spin injection

Published : 13 December 2016

HgTe/CdTe is considered as a textbook topological insulator (Physics Nobel 2016) with conducting surfaces and isolating bulk. The PhD objectives are the experimental realization of such topological insulator in 2D and 3D configurations and to use their unique properties to design novel spintronic devices. Utilizing such new phases of condensed matters requires a strong investment in the understanding of the associated physics and the manipulation of the peculiar electronic states.

In this system, shrinking the dimensions leads to the control of the spin transport through the spin-momentum locking property of Dirac fermions. This imposes a technological process in the nanometer range. The realization of dual gate structures is also required to allow for a complete control over the electronic transport at topological interfaces.

Going to 1D HgTe nanostructures in the form of nanowires will open the way to a full panel of new physics and devices with the enhancement of the topological surface to bulk ratio and the possibility of inducing topological superconductivity which is a possible platform for Majorana fermion manipulation and quantum computation. This PhD is part of a collaborative effort between CEA-Leti (material growth and processing) and CNRS – Institut Néel (quantum transport and spintronic devices)

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