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Light-induced topological magnons in two-dimensional van der Waals magnets

MPS-Authors
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Viñas Boström,  E.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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McIver,  J. W.
Non-equilibrium Transport in Quantum Materials, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Jotzu,  G.
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Rubio,  A.
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Computational Quantum Physics, The Flatiron Institute;

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Sentef,  M. A.
Theoretical Description of Pump-Probe Spectroscopies in Solids, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Bremen;

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SciPostPhys_9_4_061.pdf
(Publisher version), 8MB

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Citation

Viñas Boström, E., Claassen, M., McIver, J. W., Jotzu, G., Rubio, A., & Sentef, M. A. (2020). Light-induced topological magnons in two-dimensional van der Waals magnets. SciPost Physics, 9(4): 061. doi:10.21468/SciPostPhys.9.4.061.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C9FC-C
Abstract
Driving a two-dimensional Mott insulator with circularly polarized light breaks time-reversal and inversion symmetry, which induces an optically-tunable synthetic scalar spin chirality interaction in the effective low-energy spin Hamiltonian. Here, we show that this mechanism can stabilize topological magnon excitations in honeycomb ferromagnets and in optical lattices. We find that the irradiated quantum magnet is described by a Haldane model for magnons that hosts topologically-protected edge modes. We study the evolution of the magnon spectrum in the Floquet regime and via time propagation of the magnon Hamiltonian for a slowly varying pulse envelope. Compared to similar but conceptually distinct driving schemes based on the Aharanov-Casher effect, the dimensionless light-matter coupling parameter λ=eEa/ℏω at fixed electric field strength is enhanced by a factor ∼105. This increase of the coupling parameter allows to induce a topological gap of the order of Δ≈2 meV with realistic laser pulses, bringing an experimental realization of light-induced topological magnon edge states within reach.