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Lattice dynamics and spin-phonon coupling in the multiferroic oxides Eu(1-x)Ho(x)MnO3 and ACrO2
(2019)

The focus of this thesis is the investigation of the lattice dynamics and the coupling of magnetism and phonons in two different multiferroic model systems. The first system, which constitutes the main part in this work is the system of multiferroic manganites RMnO$_{3}$, in particular Eu$_{1-x}$Ho$_{x}$MnO$_{3}$ with $0 \le x \le 0.5$. Its cycloidal spin arrangement leads to the emergence of the ferroelectric polarization via the inverse Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. This system is special among RMnO$_{3}$ as with increasing Ho content $x$, Eu$_{1-x}$Ho$_{x}$MnO$_{3}$ does not only become multiferroic, but due to the exchange interaction with the magnetic Ho-ion, the spin cycloid (and with it the electric polarization) is also flipped for higher Ho contents. This makes it one of the first compounds, where the cycloidal reorientation happens spontaneously, rather than with the application of external fields.
On the other hand, there is the delafossite ACrO$_{2}$ system. Here, due to symmetry reasons, the spin-spiral pattern can not induce the polarization according to the inverse Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction mechanism. Instead, it is thought that another way of magnetoelectric coupling is involved, which affects the charge distribution in the $d-p$ hybridized orbitals of the bonds.
The lattice vibrations as well as the quasi-particle of the multiferroic phase, the electromagnon, are studied by Raman spectroscopy. Lattice vibrations like the B$_{3g}$(1) mode, which involves vibrations of the Mn-O-Mn bonds modulate the exchange interaction and serve as a powerful tool for the investigation of magnetic correlations effects with high frequency accuracy. Raman spectroscopy acts as a local probe as even local magnetic correlations directly affect the phonon vibration frequency, revealing coupling effects onto the lattice dynamics even in the absence of global magnetic order. By varying the temperature, the coupling is investigated and unveils a renormalization of the phonon frequency as the magnetic order develops. For Eu$_{1-x}$Ho$_{x}$MnO$_{3}$, the analysis of this spin-induced phonon frequency renormalization enables the quantitative determination of the in-plane spin-phonon coupling strengths. This formalism, introduced by Granado et al., is extended here to evaluate the out-of-plane coupling strengths, which is enabled by the identification of a previously elusive feature as a vibrational mode. The complete picture is obtained by studying the lattice- and electromagnon dynamics in the magnetic field.
Further emphasis is put towards the development of the cycloidal spin structure and correlations with temperature. A new model of describing the temperature-dependent behavior of said spin correlations is proposed and can consistently explain ordering phenomena which were until now unaddressed. The results are underscored with Monte Carlo based simulations of the spin dynamics with varying temperature.
Furthermore, a novel effect of a tentative violation of the Raman selection rules in Eu$_{1-x}$Ho$_{x}$MnO$_{3}$ was discovered. While the phonon modes can be separated and identified by their symmetry by choosing appropriate polarization configurations, in a very narrow temperature range, Eu$_{1-x}$Ho$_{x}$MnO$_{3}$ shows an increase of phonon intensities in polarization configurations where they should be forbidden. This is interpreted as a sign of local disorder, caused by 90° domain walls and could be explained within the model framework.
This course of action is followed with the material system of delafossites ACrO$_{2}$. Being a relatively new class of multiferroic materials, the investigations on ACrO$_{2}$ are also of characterizing nature. For this, shell model calculations are performed as a reference to compare the vibrational frequencies obtained by the Raman experiments to. A renormalization of the vibrational frequencies is observed in this system as well and systematically analyzed across the sample series of \textit{A}=Cu, Pd and Ag. Eventually, the effect of applying an external magnetic field is studied. A particularly interesting feature specific for CuCrO$_{2}$ is a satellite peak which appears at lower temperatures. It is presumably related to a deformation of the lattice and therefore going to be discussed in further detail.

This thesis aimed at the coherent investigation of the electrical and thermal transport properties of the low-dimensional organic conductor (DCNQI)2M (DCNQI: dicyanoquinonediimine; M: metallic counterion). These radical anion salts present a promising, new material class for thermoelectric applications and hence, a consistent characterization of the key parameters is required to evaluate and to optimize their performance. For this purpose, a novel experimental measurement setup enabling the determination of the electrical conductivity, the Seebeck coefficient and the thermal conductivity on a single crystalline specimen has been designed and implemented in this work. The novel measurement setup brought to operation within this thesis enabled a thorough investigation of the thermal transport properties in the (DCNQI)2M system. The thermal conductivity of (DCNQI-h8)2Cu at RT was determined to κ=1.73 W m^(-1) K^(-1). By reducing of the copper content in isostructural, crystalline (DMe-DCNQI)2CuxLi1-x alloys, the electrical conductivity has been lowered by one order of magnitude and the correlated changes in the thermal conductivity allowed for a verification of the Wiedemann-Franz (WF) law at RT. A room temperature Lorenz number of L=(2.48±0.45)⋅〖10〗^(-8) WΩK^(-2) was obtained in agreement with the standard Lorenz number L_0=2,44⋅〖10〗^(-8) WΩK^(-2) for 3D bulk metals. This value appears to be significantly reduced upon cooling below RT, even far above the Debye temperature of θ_D≈82 K, below which a breakdown of the WF law is caused by different relaxation times in response to thermal and to electric field perturbations. The experimental data enabled the first consistent evaluation of the thermoelectric performance of (DCNQI)$_2$Cu. The RT power factor of 110 μWm^(-1) K^(-2) is comparable to values obtained on PEDOT-based thermoelectric polymers. The RT figure of merit amounts to zT=0.02 which falls short by a factor of ten compared to the best values of zT=0.42 claimed for conducting polymers. It originates from the larger thermal conductivity in the organic crystals of about 1.73 W m^(-1) K^(-1) in (DCNQI)2Cu. Yet, more elaborate studies on the anisotropy of the thermal conductivity in PEDOT polymers assume their figure of merit to be zT=0.15 at most, recently. Therefore, (DCNQI)2Cu can be regarded as thermoelectric material of similar performance to polymer-based ones. Moreover, it represents one of the best organic n-type thermoelectric materials to date and as such, may also become important in hybrid thermoelectrics in combination with conducting polymers. Upon cooling below room temperature, (DCNQI)2Cu reveals its full potential attaining power factors of 50 mW K^(-2) m^(-1) and exceeding values of zT>0.15 below 40 K. These values represent the best thermoelectric performance in this low-temperature regime for organic as well as inorganic compounds and thus, low-dimensional organic conductors might pave the way toward new applications in cryogenic thermoelectrics. Further improvements may be expected from optimizing the charge carrier concentration by taking control over the CT process via the counterion stack of the crystal lattice. The concept has also been demonstrated in this work. Moreover, the thermoelectric performance in the vicinity of the CDW transition in (MeBr-DCNQI)2Cu was found to be increased by a factor of 5. Accordingly, the diversity of electronic ground states accessible in organic conductors provides scope for further improvements. Finally, the prototype of an all-organic thermoelectric generator has been built in combination with the p-type organic metal TTT2I3. While it only converts about 0.02% of the provided heat into electrical energy, the specific power output per active area attains values of up to 5 mW cm^(-2). This power output, defining the cost-limiting factor in the recovery of waste heat, is three orders of magnitude larger than in conducting polymer devices and as such, unrivaled in organic thermoelectrics. While the thermoelectric key parameters of (DCNQI)2Cu still lack behind conventional thermoelectrics made of e.g. Bi2Te3, the promising performance together with its potential for improvements make this novel material class an interesting candidate for further exploration. Particularly, the low-cost and energy-efficient synthesis routes of organic materials highlight their relevance for technological applications.

Due to their potential application for quantum computation, quantum dots have attracted a lot of interest in recent years. In these devices single electrons can be captured, whose spin can be used to define a quantum bit (qubit). However, the information stored in these quantum bits is fragile due to the interaction of the electron spin with its environment. While many of the resulting problems have already been solved, even on the experimental side, the hyperfine interaction between the nuclear spins of the host material and the electron spin in their center remains as one of the major obstacles. As a consequence, the reduction of the number of nuclear spins is a promising way to minimize this effect. However, most quantum dots have a fixed number of nuclear spins due to the presence of group III and V elements of the periodic table in the host material. In contrast, group IV elements such as carbon allow for a variable size of the nuclear spin environment through isotopic purification. Motivated by this possibility, we theoretically investigate the physics of the central spin model in carbon based quantum dots. In particular, we focus on the consequences of a variable number of nuclear spins on the decoherence of the electron spin in graphene quantum dots.
Since our models are, in many aspects, based upon actual experimental setups, we provide an overview of the most important achievements of spin qubits in quantum dots in the first part of this Thesis. To this end, we discuss the spin interactions in semiconductors on a rather general ground. Subsequently, we elaborate on their effect in GaAs and graphene, which can be considered as prototype materials. Moreover, we also explain how the central spin model can be described in terms of open and closed quantum systems and which theoretical tools are suited to analyze such models.
Based on these prerequisites, we then investigate the physics of the electron spin using analytical and numerical methods. We find an intriguing thermal flip of the electron spin using standard statistical physics. Subsequently, we analyze the dynamics of the electron spin under influence of a variable number of nuclear spins. The limit of a large nuclear spin environment is investigated using the Nakajima-Zwanzig quantum master equation, which reveals a decoherence of the electron spin with a power-law decay on short timescales. Interestingly, we find a dependence of the details of this decay on the orientation of an external magnetic field with respect to the graphene plane. By restricting to a small number of nuclear spins, we are able to analyze the dynamics of the electron spin by exact diagonalization, which provides us with more insight into the microscopic details of the decoherence. In particular, we find a fast initial decay of the electron spin, which asymptotically reaches a regime governed by small fluctuations around a finite long-time average value. Finally, we analytically predict upper bounds on the size of these fluctuations in the framework of quantum thermodynamics.

Topological insulators are electronic phases that insulate in the bulk and accommodate a peculiar, metallic edge liquid with a spin-dependent dispersion.
They are regarded to be of considerable future use in spintronics and for quantum computation.
Besides determining the intrinsic properties of this rather novel electronic phase, considering its combination with well-known physical systems can generate genuinely new physics.
In this thesis, we report on such combinations including topological insulators. Specifically, we analyze an attached Rashba impurity, a Kondo dot in the two channel setup, magnetic impurities on the surface of a strong three-dimensional topological insulator, the proximity coupling of the latter system to a superconductor, and hybrid systems consisting of a topological insulator and a semimetal.
Let us summarize our primary results.
Firstly, we determine an analytical formula for the Kondo cloud and describe its possible detection in current correlations far away from the Kondo region.
We thereby rely on and extend the method of refermionizable points.
Furthermore, we find a class of gapless topological superconductors and semimetals, which accommodate edge states that behave similarly to the ones of globally gapped topological phases. Unexpectedly, we also find edge states that change their chirality when affected by sufficiently strong disorder.
We regard the presented research helpful in future classifications and applications of systems containing topological insulators, of which we propose some examples.

Exploring the transport properties of the three-dimensional topological insulator material HgTe
(2015)

In the present thesis the transport properties of strained bulk HgTe devices are investigated. Strained HgTe forms a 3D TI and is of special interest for studying topological surface states, since it can be grown by MBE in high crystal quality. The low defect density leads to considerable mobility values, well above the mobilities of other TI materials. However, strained HgTe has a small band gap of ca. 20 meV. With respect to possible applications the question is important, under which conditions the surface transport occurs. To answer this question, the HgTe devices are investigated at dilution refrigerator temperatures (T<100 mK) in high magnetic fields of different orientation. The influence of top and back gate electrodes as well as surface protecting layers is discussed.
On the basis of an analysis of the quantum Hall behaviour it is shown that transport is dominated by the topological surface states in a surprisingly large parameter range. A dependence on the applied top gate voltage is presented for the topological surface states. It enables the first demonstration of an odd integer QHE sequence from the surfaces perpendicular to the magnetic field. Furthermore, the p-type QHE from the surface states is observed for the first time in any 3D TI. This is achieved in samples of high surface quality. It is concluded from the gate response that the screening behaviour in 3D TI devices is non-trivial. The transport data are qualitatively analysed by means of intuitive theoretical models.

This thesis deals with quantum Monte Carlo simulations of correlated low dimensional electron systems. The correlation that we have in mind is always given by the Hubbard type electron electron interaction in various settings. To facilitate this task, we develop the necessary methods in the first part. We develop the continuous time interaction expansion quantum algorithm in a manner suitable for the treatment of effective and non-equilibrium problems. In the second part of this thesis we consider various applications of the algorithms. First we examine a correlated one-dimensional chain of electrons that is subject to some form of quench dynamics where we suddenly switch off the Hubbard interaction. We find the light-cone-like Lieb-Robinson bounds and forms of restricted equilibration subject to the conserved quantities. Then we consider a Hubbard chain subject to Rashba spin-orbit coupling in thermal equilibrium. This system could very well be realized on a surface with the help of metallic adatoms. We find that we can analytically connect the given model to a model without spin-orbit coupling. This link enabled us to interpret various results for the standard Hubbard model, such as the single-particle spectra, now in the context of the Hubbard model with Rashba spin-orbit interaction. And finally we have considered a magnetic impurity in a host consisting of a topological insulator. We find that the impurity still exhibits the same features as known from the single impurity Anderson model. Additionally we study the effects of the impurity in the bath and we find that in the parameter regime where the Kondo singlet is formed the edge state of the topological insulator is rerouted around the impurity.

In this thesis, the electronic transport properties of mesoscopic condensed matter systems based on graphene are investigated by means of numerical as well as analytical methods. In particular, it is analyzed how the concepts of quantum interference and disorder, which are essential to mesoscopic devices in general, are affected by the unique electronic and transport properties of the graphene material system. We consider the famous Aharonov–Bohm effect in ring-shaped transport geometries, and, besides providing an overview over the recent developments on the subject, we study the signatures of fundamental phenomena such as Klein tunneling and specular Andreev reflection, which are specific to graphene, in the magnetoconductance oscillations. To this end, we introduce and utilize a variant of the well-known recursive Green’s function technique, which is an efficient numerical method for the calculation of transport observables in effectively non-interacting open quantum systems in the framework of a tight binding model. This technique is also applied to study the effects of a specific kind of disorder, namely short-range resonant scatterers, such as strongly bound adatoms or molecules, that can be modeled as vacancies in the graphene lattice. This numerical analysis of the conductance in the presence of resonant scatterers in graphene leads to a non-trivial classification of impurity sites in the graphene lattice and is further substantiated by an independent analytical treatment in the framework of the Dirac equation. The present thesis further contains a formal introduction to the topic of non-equilibrium quantum transport as appropriate for the development of the numerical technique mentioned above, a general introduction to the physics of graphene with a focus on the particular phenomena investigated in this work, and a conclusion where the obtained results are summarized and open questions as well as potential future developments are highlighted.

We report here that reconstruction on (100), (1lIlA, and (1l1lB CdTe surfaces is either C(2X2), (2X2), and (l X I) or (2X I), (l X I), and (l X I) when they are Cd or Te stabilized, respectively. There is a mixed region between Cd and Te stabilization in which the reflected high-energy electron-diffraction (RHEED) patterns contain characteristics of both Cd- and Te-stabilized surfaces. We have also found that the Cd-to-Te ratio of the x-ray photoelectron intensities of their 3d\(_{3/ 2}\) core levels is about 20% larger for a Cd-stabilized (1lIlA, (1lIlB, or (100) CdTe surface than for a Te-stabilized one. According to a simple model calculation, which was normalized by means of the photoelectron intensity ratio of a Cd-stabilized (lll)A and aTe-stabilized (1l1lB CdTe surface, the experimental data for CdTe surfaces can be explained by a linear dependence of the photoelectron-intensity ratio on the fraction of Cd in the uppermost monatomic layer. This surface composition can be correlated with the surface structure, i.e., the corresponding RHEED patterns. This correlation can in turn be employed to determine Te and Cd evaporation rates. The Te reevaporation rate is increasingly slower for the Te-stabilized (Ill) A, (l1l)B, and (100) surfaces, while the opposite is true for Cd from Cd-stabilized (Ill) A and (Ill)B surfaces. In addition, Te is much more easily evaporated from all the investigated surfaces than is Cd, if the substrate is kept at normal molecular-beam-epitaxy growth temperatures ranging from 2oo·C to 300 ·C.

New resonant-mode infrared absorption lines have been observed in NaCl with high concentrations of fluorine impurities. The quadratic concentration dependence of the strength of these lines indicates that they are due to pairs of fluorine impurities. At the resonant frequencies, the motion of some host ions appears to be as important as the motion of the impurities themselves.