Scientific Achievement

Researchers in the Van der Waals Heterostructures program achieved atomic-scale imaging and full electrical manipulation of chiral interface states in a moiré quantum anomalous Hall insulator, i.e., a Chern insulator.

Significance and Impact

Direct visualization of chiral interface state wavefunction reveals the interplay between strong correlation and non-trivial topology, and provides a new technique for precise local electrical control of 1D conducting channels.

Research Details

  • Induced opposite Chern domains in moiré tMBLG using electrostatic gating.
  • STM spectroscopy to image the electronic wavefunction of the resulting 1D chiral interface states.
  • Moved and created chiral interface states with predetermined chirality using back-gating and local tip-pulse-induced quantum dot formation.
  • Comparison to theory enabled the extraction of chiral interface state length scales important for future device applications.

Publication Details

C. Zhang, T. Zhu, S. Kahn, T. Soejima, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, A. Zettl, F. Wang, M. P. Zaletel, M. F. Crommie, Nature Physics (2024).

DOI: 10.1038/s41567-024-02444-w

Work was performed in part at the Molecular Foundry.