Colloquium: Topologically protected states in van der Waals heterostructures

Brian Leroy, University of Arizona
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 3:00pm
PAS 220

Over the past decade, two-dimensional materials have been a vast playground to explore novel physics. Recently, the ability to create arbitrary stacking configurations of these materials through van der Waals heterostructures has opened the way to the creation of designer electronic states. Graphene on hexagonal boron nitride, a metal on an insulator, is the simplest example of such a van der Waals heterostructure where the electronic properties of the composite material is tuned based on the interaction between the layers. These van der Waals heterostructures can be formed using a wide variety of layered materials including metals, semiconductors, insulators, superconductors and topological insulators. This talk will mostly focus on creating topologically protected states in graphene based devices by breaking inversion symmetry. I will discuss our fabrication of several different types of heterostructures and measurements using scanning probe microscopy.