Magnetic properties of Dirac fermions in a buckled honeycomb lattice Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We calculate the magnetic response of a buckled honeycomb lattice with intrinsic spin-orbit coupling (such as silicene) which supports valley-spin polarized energy bands when subjected to a perpendicular electric field $E_z$. By changing the magnitude of the external electric field, the size of the two band gaps involved can be tuned, and a transition from a topological insulator (TI) to a trivial band insulator (BI) is induced as one of the gaps becomes zero, and the system enters a valley-spin polarized metallic state (VSPM). In an external magnetic field ($B$), a distinct signature of the transition is seen in the derivative of the magnetization with respect to chemical potential ($\mu$) which gives the quantization of the Hall plateaus through the Streda relation. When plotted as a function of the external electric field, the magnetization has an abrupt change in slope at its minimum which signals the VSPM state. The magnetic susceptibility ($\chi$) shows jumps as a function of $\mu$ when a band gap is crossed which provides a measure of the gaps' variation as a function of external electric field. Alternatively, at fixed $\mu$, the susceptibility displays an increasingly large diamagnetic response as the electric field approaches the critical value of the VSPM phase. In the VSPM state, magnetic oscillations exist for any value of chemical potential while for the TI, and BI state, $\mu$ must be larger than the minimum gap in the system. When $\mu$ is larger than both gaps, there are two fundamental cyclotron frequencies (which can also be tuned by $E_z$) involved in the de-Haas van-Alphen oscillations which are close in magnitude. This causes a prominent beating pattern to emerge.

publication date

  • January 16, 2015