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Topological interface states - A possible path towards a Landau-level laser in the THz regime

Mark Oliver Goerbig

SciPost Phys. 15, 246 (2023) · published 19 December 2023


Volkov-Pankratov surface bands arise in smooth topological interfaces, i.e. interfaces between a topological and a trivial insulator, in addition to the chiral surface state imposed by the bulk-surface correspondence of topological materials. These two-dimensional bands become Landau-quantized if a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the interface. I show that the energy scales, which are typically in the 10-100 meV range, can be controlled both by the perpendicular magnetic field and the interface width. The latter can still be varied with the help of a magnetic-field component in the interface. The Landau levels of the different Volkov-Pankratov bands are optically coupled, and their arrangement may allow one to obtain population inversion by optical pumping. This could serve as the elementary brick of a multi-level laser based on Landau levels. Moreover, the photons are absorbed and emitted either parallel or perpendicular to the magnetic field, respectively in the Voigt and Faraday geometry, depending on the Volkov-Pankratov bands and Landau levels involved in the optical transitions.

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