Magneto-optical signatures of Volkov-Pankratov states in topological insulators


X. Lu and Goerbig, M. O., “Magneto-optical signatures of Volkov-Pankratov states in topological insulators”, {EPL} (Europhysics Letters), vol. 126, p. 67004, 2019.


In addition to the usual chiral surface states, massive surface states can arise at a smooth interface between a topological and a trivial bulk insulator. While not subject to topological protection as the chiral states, these massive states, theorized by Volkov and Pankratov in the 1980s, reflect nevertheless emergent Dirac physics at the interface. We study theoretically the magneto-optical response of these surface states, which is strikingly different from that of the bulk states. Most saliently, we show that these states can be identified clearly in the presence of a magnetic field and its orientation with respect to the interface.