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

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

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Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Alberto Mayorgas
Submission information
Preprint Link:  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2024-04-24
Date submitted: 2024-04-19 11:03
Submitted by: Mayorgas, Alberto
Submitted to: SciPost Physics Core
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
Approaches: Theoretical, Computational


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.

List of changes

We have added a new section V to study the effect of spin-orbit interaction without inversion symmetry introducing a constant coupling of the spin blocks. We focused on the effect of spin-orbit interaction on classical and revival times. We have seen that the spin coupling has hardly any effect on classical and revival times near the critical thickness where the topological phase transition takes place. Revival times turn to be more sensitive than classical times to the coupling away from the critical point. Both, classical and revival, times remain minimal at the critical point. More details (with new figures) can be found in the new version of the manuscript.

Published as SciPost Phys. Core 7, 029 (2024)

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