Archive for the ‘Physical Review’ Category

Posted by Kenneth Burch On December - 24 - 2019 Comments Off on Uncovering electron-phonon scattering and phonon dynamics in type-I Weyl semimetals

Studies of topological semimetals have revealed spectacular transport phenomena spanning extreme magnetoresistance effects and ultrahigh mobilities. As phonon dynamics and electron-phonon scattering play a critical role in the electrical and thermal transport, we pursue a fundamental understanding of these effects in type-I Weyl semimetals NbAs and TaAs. In the temperature-dependent Raman spectra of NbAs we reveal a previously unreported Fano line shape, a signature stemming from the electron-phonon interaction. Additionally, the temperature dependence of the A1 phonon linewidths in both NbAs and TaAs strongly deviate from the standard model of anharmonic decay. To capture the mechanisms responsible for the observed Fano asymmetry  [ Read More ]

Posted by Kenneth Burch On July - 31 - 2018 Comments Off on Charge transfer in EuS/Bi2Se3 heterostructures as indicated by the absence of Raman scattering

Heterostructures of topological insulators and ferromagnets offer new opportunities in spintronics and a route to novel anomalous Hall states. In one such structure, EuS/Bi2Se3, a dramatic enhancement of the Curie temperature was recently observed. We performed Raman spectroscopy on a similar set of thin films to investigate the magnetic and lattice excitations. Interfacial strain was monitored through its effects on the Bi2Se3 phonon modes while the magnetic system was probed through the EuS Raman mode. Despite its appearance in bare EuS, the heterostructures lack the corresponding EuS Raman signal. Through numerical calculations, we rule out the possibility of Fabry-Perot interference  [ Read More ]

Posted by Kenneth Burch On March - 13 - 2017 Comments Off on Understanding the evolution of anomalous anharmonicity in Bi2Te3−xSex

The anharmonic effect in thermoelectrics has been a central topic for decades in both condensed matter physics and material science. However, despite the long-believed strong and complex anharmonicity in the Bi2 Te3−x Sex series, experimental verification of anharmonicity and its evolution with doping remains elusive. We fill this important gap with high-resolution, temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopy in high-quality single crystals of Bi2Te3, Bi2Te2Se, and Bi2Se3 over the temperature range from 4 to 293 K. Klemens’s model was employed to explain the renormalization of their phonon linewidths. The phonon energies of Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3 are analyzed in detail from three aspects: lattice  [ Read More ]

Posted by Kenneth Burch On March - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Spin-orbit excitations and electronic structure of the putative Kitaev magnet α-RuCl3

Mott insulators with strong spin-orbit coupling have been proposed to host unconventional magnetic states, including the Kitaev quantum spin liquid. The 4d system α-RuCl3 has recently come into view as a candidate Kitaev system, with evidence for unusual spin excitations in magnetic scattering experiments. We apply a combination of optical spectroscopy and Raman scattering to study the electronic structure of this material. Our measurements reveal a series of orbital excitations involving localized total angular momentum states of the Ru ion, implying that strong spin-orbit coupling and electron-electron interactions coexist in this material. Analysis of these features allows us to estimate  [ Read More ]

Posted by Kenneth Burch On January - 19 - 2015 Comments Off on Optical investigation of the thermoelectric topological crystalline insulator Pb0.77Sn0.23Se

Pb0.77Sn0.23Se is a promising thermoelectric alloy that exhibits a temperature dependent band inversion below 300 K. Recent work has shown that this band inversion also coincides with a trivial to nontrivial topological phase transition. To understand how the properties critical to thermoelectric efficiency are affected by the band inversion, we measured the broadband optical response of Pb0.77Sn0.23Se as a function of temperature. We find clear optical signatures suggesting the band inversion occurs at 160 ±15 K, and use the extended Drude model to accurately determine a T3 /2 dependence of the bulk carrier lifetime, associated with electron-acoustic phonon scattering. Due  [ Read More ]