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J Phys Condens Matter. 2014 Feb 26;26(8):085301. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/26/8/085301. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

The effect of dephasing on edge state transport through p-n junctions in HgTe/CdTe quantum wells.

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College of Physics, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050016, People's Republic of China.


Using the Landauer-Büttiker formula, we study the effect of dephasing on the transport properties of the HgTe/CdTe p-n junction. It is found that in the HgTe/CdTe p-n junction the topologically protected gapless helical edge states manifest a quantized 2e²/h plateau robust against dephasing, in sharp contrast to the case for the normal HgTe/CdTe quantum well. This robustness of the transport properties of the edge states against dephasing should be attributed to the special construction of the HgTe/CdTe p-n junction, which limits the gapless helical edge states to a very narrow region and thus weakens the influence of the dephasing on the gapless edge states to a large extent. Our results demonstrate that the p-n junction could be a substitute device for use in experimentally observing the robust edge states and quantized plateau. Finally, we present a feasible scheme based on current experimental methods.

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