Non-equilibrium transport in topologically non-trivial systems

  • Sumit Ghosh

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


One of the most remarkable achievements of modern condensed matter physics is the discovery of topological phases of matter. Materials in a non-trivial topological phase or the topological insulators can be distinguished by their unique electronic and transport properties which are indifferent to different types of perturbations and thus open new routes towards the dissipationless transport. Explaining their properties requires proper involvement of relativistic approach as well as topological analysis. Among different classes of topological insulators, the Z2 topological insulators have drawn special attention due to their strong spin-orbit coupling which makes them a promising candidate for spintronics application, especially for magnetic memory devices. Due to their inherent strong spin-orbit coupling, they provide an efficient way to manipulate electronic spin with an applied electric field via spin orbit torque. The topological insulators have been found to be far more superior in manipulating the magnetic order parameter of a ferromagnet compared to the conventional heavy metals like platinum or tantalum. Another milestone in magnetic memory devices is marked by the introduction of antiferromagnetic memory devices which has not drawn any attention for long time as they cannot be controlled by an applied magnetic field. Recently it has been found that in case of a non-centrosymmetric antiferromagnet, the magnetic order parameter can be manipulated by with spin-orbit torque which also have been verified experimentally. The advantages of antiferromagnetic devices over ferromagnetic devices are that they allow faster switching speed and they are immune to an external magneticfield which are two highly solicited properties for next generation spintronic devices. This thesis is focused on understanding the transport properties in topologically nontrivial materials and their interface with different magnetic material. We use simplified continuum model as well as tight binding models to capture the salient features of these systems. Using non-equilibrium Green's function we explore their transport properties as well as spin-charge conversion mechanism. Our finding would provide a better understanding of these new class of materials and thus would be instrumental to discover new mechanisms to manipulate their properties.
Date of AwardFeb 27 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorAurelien Manchon (Supervisor)


  • Spintronics
  • Spin-Orbit torque
  • Topological insulator
  • Non-equilibrium transport

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