All-Optical Probe of Three-Dimensional Topological Insulators Based on High-Harmonic Generation by Circularly Polarized Laser Fields

Denitsa Baykusheva, Alexis Chacón, Jian Lu, Trevor P. Bailey, Jonathan A. Sobota, Hadas Soifer, Patrick S. Kirchmann, Costel Rotundu, Ctirad Uher, Tony F. Heinz, David A. Reis, Shambhu Ghimire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the observation of an anomalous nonlinear optical response of the prototypical three-dimensional topological insulator bismuth selenide through the process of high-order harmonic generation. We find that the generation efficiency increases as the laser polarization is changed from linear to elliptical, and it becomes maximum for circular polarization. With the aid of a microscopic theory and a detailed analysis of the measured spectra, we reveal that such anomalous enhancement encodes the characteristic topology of the band structure that originates from the interplay of strong spin-orbit coupling and time-reversal symmetry protection. The implications are in ultrafast probing of topological phase transitions, light-field driven dissipationless electronics, and quantum computation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8970-8978
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Volume21
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
LANL LDRD
Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Science
Basic Energy Sciences
Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen ForschungP2EZP2_184255, 2016K1A4A4A0192202
Ministry of Trade, Industry and EnergyP0008763
Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology
National Research Foundation of Korea

    Keywords

    • High harmonic generation
    • Nonlinear optics
    • Strong-field physics
    • Topological insulators
    • Ultrafast spectroscopy

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