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Quantum revivals in HgTe/CdTe quantum wells and topological phase transitions

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

SciPost Phys. Core 7, 029 (2024) · published 13 May 2024


The time evolution of a wave packet is a tool to detect topological phase transitions in two-dimensional Dirac materials, such as graphene and silicene. Here we extend the analysis to HgTe/CdTe quantum wells and study the evolution of their electron current wave packet, using 2D effective Dirac Hamiltonians and different layer thicknesses. We show that the two different periodicities that appear in this temporal evolution reach a minimum near the critical thickness, where the system goes from normal to inverted regime. Moreover, the maximum of the electron current amplitude changes with the layer thickness, identifying that current maxima reach their higher value at the critical thickness. Thus, we can characterize the topological phase transitions in terms of the periodicity and amplitude of the electron currents.

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