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  1. Abstract A Chern insulator is a two-dimensional material that hosts chiral edge states produced by the combination of topology with time reversal symmetry breaking. Such edge states are perfect one-dimensional conductors, which may exist not only on sample edges, but on any boundary between two materials with distinct topological invariants (or Chern numbers). Engineering of such interfaces is highly desirable due to emerging opportunities of using topological edge states for energy-efficient information transmission. Here, we report a chiral edge-current divider based on Chern insulator junctions formed within the layered topological magnet MnBi 2 Te 4 . We find that in a device containing a boundary between regions of different thickness, topological domains with different Chern numbers can coexist. At the domain boundary, a Chern insulator junction forms, where we identify a chiral edge mode along the junction interface. We use this to construct topological circuits in which the chiral edge current can be split, rerouted, or switched off by controlling the Chern numbers of the individual domains. Our results demonstrate MnBi 2 Te 4 as an emerging platform for topological circuits design.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Abstract Kagome materials have become solid grounds to study the interplay among geometry, topology, correlation, and magnetism. Recently, niobium halide semiconductors Nb 3 X 8 ( X  = Cl, Br, I) have been predicted to be two-dimensional magnets and these materials are also interesting for their breathing kagome geometry. However, experimental electronic structure studies of these promising materials are still lacking. Here, we report the spectroscopic evidence of flat and weakly dispersing bands in breathing-kagome semiconductor Nb 3 I 8 around 500 meV binding energy, which is well supported by our first-principles calculations. These bands originate from the breathing kagome lattice of niobium atoms and have niobium d -orbital character. They are found to be sensitive to the polarization of the incident photon beam. Our study provides insight into the electronic structure and flat band topology in an exfoliable kagome semiconductor, thereby providing an important platform to understand the interaction of geometry and electron correlations in two-dimensional materials.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Abstract The interplay between a multitude of electronic, spin, and lattice degrees of freedom underlies the complex phase diagrams of quantum materials. Layer stacking in van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures is responsible for exotic electronic and magnetic properties, which inspires stacking control of two-dimensional magnetism. Beyond the interplay between stacking order and interlayer magnetism, we discover a spin-shear coupling mechanism in which a subtle shear of the atomic layers can have a profound effect on the intralayer magnetic order in a family of vdW antiferromagnets. Using time-resolved X-ray diffraction and optical linear dichroism measurements, interlayer shear is identified as the primary structural degree of freedom that couples with magnetic order. The recovery times of both shear and magnetic order upon optical excitation diverge at the magnetic ordering temperature with the same critical exponent. The time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau theory shows that this concurrent critical slowing down arises from a linear coupling of the interlayer shear to the magnetic order, which is dictated by the broken mirror symmetry intrinsic to the monoclinic stacking. Our results highlight the importance of interlayer shear in ultrafast control of magnetic order via spin-mechanical coupling.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  4. Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are regarded as a possible material platform for quantum information science and related device applications. In TMD monolayers, the dephasing time and inhomogeneity are crucial parameters for any quantum information application. In TMD heterostructures, coupling strength and interlayer exciton lifetimes are also parameters of interest. However, many demonstrations in TMDs can only be realized at specific spots on the sample, presenting a challenge to the scalability of these applications. Here, using multi-dimensional coherent imaging spectroscopy, we shed light on the underlying physics—including dephasing, inhomogeneity, and strain—for a MoSe 2 monolayer and identify both promising and unfavorable areas for quantum information applications. We, furthermore, apply the same technique to a MoSe 2 /WSe 2 heterostructure. Despite the notable presence of strain and dielectric environment changes, coherent and incoherent coupling and interlayer exciton lifetimes are mostly robust across the sample. This uniformity is despite a significantly inhomogeneous interlayer exciton photoluminescence distribution that suggests a bad sample for device applications. This robustness strengthens the case for TMDs as a next-generation material platform in quantum information science and beyond.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 7, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 21, 2023
  6. Abstract

    Excitons are elementary optical excitation in semiconductors. The ability to manipulate and transport these quasiparticles would enable excitonic circuits and devices for quantum photonic technologies. Recently, interlayer excitons in 2D semiconductors have emerged as a promising candidate for engineering excitonic devices due to their long lifetime, large exciton binding energy, and gate tunability. However, the charge-neutral nature of the excitons leads to weak response to the in-plane electric field and thus inhibits transport beyond the diffusion length. Here, we demonstrate the directional transport of interlayer excitons in bilayer WSe2driven by the propagating potential traps induced by surface acoustic waves (SAW). We show that at 100 K, the SAW-driven excitonic transport is activated above a threshold acoustic power and reaches 20 μm, a distance at least ten times longer than the diffusion length and only limited by the device size. Temperature-dependent measurement reveals the transition from the diffusion-limited regime at low temperature to the acoustic field-driven regime at elevated temperature. Our work shows that acoustic waves are an effective, contact-free means to control exciton dynamics and transport, promising for realizing 2D materials-based excitonic devices such as exciton transistors, switches, and transducers up to room temperature.