Photocurrents in a topological insulator - an inside view
TYPECondensed Matter Seminar
Speaker:Hadas Soifer
Affiliation:Stanford university
Location:Lidow Asher Peres (502)

Topological insulators have been in the focus of condensed-matter research in recent years.  In particular, much effort was dedicated to optically excite and control currents involving the topological surface states. We image the unoccupied bandstructures of a topological insulator as it evolves following an optical excitation, and observe the signature of a photo-induced current [1]. By analyzing the rise times of the population we gain a complete view on the occupied and unoccupied electronic states, and how they are coupled by the optical excitation. This enables us to determine that photocurrents are excited only via the resonant optical transitions coupling to spin-orbital textured states. Our work provides a microscopic understanding of how to control photocurrents in materials with spin-orbit coupling and broken inversion symmetry.


[1] H. Soifer et al., arXiv:1712.08694 (2017)