Engineering and manipulation of unidirectional channels has been achieved in quantum Hall systems, leading to the construction of electron interferometers and proposals for low-power electronics and quantum information science applications. However, to fully control the mixing and interference of edge-state wave functions, one needs stable and tunable junctions. Encouraged by recent material candidates, here we propose to achieve this using an antiferromagnetic topological insulator that supports two distinct types of gapless unidirectional channels, one from antiferromagnetic domain walls and the other from single-height steps. Their distinct geometric nature allows them to intersect robustly to form quantum point junctions, which then enables their control by magnetic and electrostatic local probes. We show how the existence of stable and tunable junctions, the intrinsic magnetism and the potential for higher-temperature performance make antiferromagnetic topological insulators a promising platform for electron quantum optics and microelectronic applications.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Varnava, N., Wilson, J., Pixley, J., & Vanderbilt, D. (2021). Controllable quantum point junction on the surface of an antiferromagnetic topological insulator. Nature Communications, 12 (1) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24276-5