Temperature-Induced Topological Phase Transition in HgTe Quantum Wells

A. M. Kadykov, S. S. Krishtopenko, B. Jouault, W. Desrat, W. Knap, S. Ruffenach, C. Consejo, J. Torres, S. V. Morozov, N. N. Mikhailov, S. A. Dvoretskii, F. Teppe

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31 Citations (Scopus)


We report a direct observation of temperature-induced topological phase transition between the trivial and topological insulator states in an HgTe quantum well. By using a gated Hall bar device, we measure and represent Landau levels in fan charts at different temperatures, and we follow the temperature evolution of a peculiar pair of "zero-mode" Landau levels, which split from the edge of electronlike and holelike subbands. Their crossing at a critical magnetic field Bc is a characteristic of inverted band structure in the quantum well. By measuring the temperature dependence of Bc, we directly extract the critical temperature Tc at which the bulk band gap vanishes and the topological phase transition occurs. Above this critical temperature, the opening of a trivial gap is clearly observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number086401
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018




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