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Faraday rotation and transmittance as markers of topological phase transitions in 2D materials

Manuel Calixto, Alberto Mayorgas, Nicolás A. Cordero, Elvira Romera, Octavio Héctor Castaños Garza

SciPost Phys. 16, 077 (2024) · published 18 March 2024


We analyze the magneto-optical conductivity (and related magnitudes like transmittance and Faraday rotation of the irradiated polarized light) of some elemental two-dimensional Dirac materials of group IV (graphene analogues, buckled honeycomb lattices, like silicene, germanene, stannane, etc.), group V (phosphorene), and zincblende heterostructures (like HgTe/CdTe quantum wells) near the Dirac and gamma points, under out-of-plane magnetic and electric fields, to characterize topological-band insulator phase transitions and their critical points. We provide plots of the Faraday angle and transmittance as a function of the polarized light frequency, for different external electric and magnetic fields, chemical potential, HgTe layer thickness and temperature, to tune the material magneto-optical properties. We have shown that absortance/transmittance acquires extremal values at the critical point, where the Faraday angle changes sign, thus providing fine markers of the topological phase transition. In the case of non-topological materials as phosphorene, a minimum of the transmittance is also observed due to the energy gap closing by an external electric field.

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