Transport of Dirac electrons in a random magnetic field in topological heterostructures

Hilary M. Hurst, Dmitry K. Efimkin, Victor Galitski

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We consider the proximity effect between Dirac states at the surface of a topological insulator and a ferromagnet with easy plane anisotropy, which is described by the XY model and undergoes a Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) phase transition. The surface states of the topological insulator interacting with classical magnetic fluctuations of the ferromagnet can be mapped onto the problem of Dirac fermions in a random magnetic field. However, this analogy is only partial in the presence of electron-hole asymmetry or warping of the Dirac dispersion, which results in screening of magnetic fluctuations. Scattering at magnetic fluctuations influences the behavior of the surface resistivity as a function of temperature. Near the BKT phase transition temperature we find that the resistivity of surface states scales linearly with temperature and has a clear maximum which becomes more pronounced as the Fermi energy decreases. Additionally, at low temperatures we find linear resistivity, usually associated with non-Fermi-liquid behavior; however, here it appears entirely within the Fermi-liquid picture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245111
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016

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