Materials and Novel Electronic Phenomena
Katja C. Nowack, Physics, studies very interesting materials with properties that stay the same when the material’s shape is changed or deformed. These materials exhibit unusual behavior on their boundaries due to topological properties inside the material—topological phases of matter. Topological phases of matter are predicted to realize a wealth of fundamentally new electronic phenomena, such as the quantum anomalous Hall effect, topological magnetoelectric effects, electric field-induced magnetic image monopoles, and emergent axion electrodynamics. While the recent realization of the quantum anomalous Hall effect has opened the door to an exciting array of experiments and potential applications, many aspects of the effect remain unclear. This is largely due to a lack of detailed understanding of the materials involved. Nowack’s project advances understanding of the relevant materials and broadly explores new materials predicted to exhibit topological order.
The experimental approach combines local and non-invasive magnetic scanning probes with low-noise transport and high-frequency excitations to image, probe, and manipulate the properties of relevant materials. The insights provided by this research may lead to the realization of new electronic phenomena based on topological phases of matter and help the development of materials for spintronics-based, low-power electronic devices.