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In this thesis we discuss the potential of nanodevices based on topological insulators. This novel class of matter is characterized by an insulating bulk with simultaneously conducting boundaries. To lowest order, the states that are evoking the conducting behavior in TIs are typically described by a Dirac theory. In the two-dimensional case, together with time- reversal symmetry, this implies a helical nature of respective states. Then, interesting physics appears when two such helical edge state pairs are brought close together in a two-dimensional topological insulator quantum constriction. This has several advantages. Inside the constriction, the system obeys essentially the same number of fermionic fields as a conventional quantum wire, however, it possesses more symmetries. Moreover, such a constriction can be naturally contacted by helical probes, which eventually allows spin- resolved transport measurements.
We use these intriguing properties of such devices to predict the formation and detection of several profound physical effects. We demonstrate that narrow trenches in quantum spin Hall materials – a structure we coin anti-wire – are able to show a topological super- conducting phase, hosting isolated non-Abelian Majorana modes. They can be detected by means of a simple conductance experiment using a weak coupling to passing by helical edge states. The presence of Majorana modes implies the formation of unconventional odd-frequency superconductivity. Interestingly, however, we find that regardless of the presence or absence of Majoranas, related (superconducting) devices possess an uncon- ventional odd-frequency superconducting pairing component, which can be associated to a particular transport channel. Eventually, this enables us to prove the existence of odd- frequency pairing in superconducting quantum spin Hall quantum constrictions. The symmetries that are present in quantum spin Hall quantum constrictions play an essen- tial role for many physical effects. As distinguished from quantum wires, quantum spin Hall quantum constrictions additionally possess an inbuilt charge-conjugation symmetry. This can be used to form a non-equilibrium Floquet topological phase in the presence of a time-periodic electro-magnetic field. This non-equilibrium phase is accompanied by topological bound states that are detectable in transport characteristics of the system. Despite single-particle effects, symmetries are particularly important when electronic in- teractions are considered. As such, charge-conjugation symmetry implies the presence of a Dirac point, which in turn enables the formation of interaction induced gaps. Unlike single-particle gaps, interaction induced gaps can lead to large ground state manifolds. In combination with ordinary superconductivity, this eventually evokes exotic non-Abelian anyons beyond the Majorana. In the present case, these interactions gaps can even form in the weakly interacting regime (which is rather untypical), so that the coexistence with superconductivity is no longer contradictory. Eventually this leads to the simultaneous presence of a Z4 parafermion and a Majorana mode bound at interfaces between quantum constrictions and superconducting regions.

In the field of spintronics, spin manipulation and spin transport are the main principles that need to be implemented. The main focus of this thesis is to analyse semiconductor systems where high fidelity in these principles can be achieved. To this end, we use numerical methods for precise results, supplemented by simpler analytical models for interpretation.
The material system of 2D topological insulators, HgTe/CdTe quantum wells, is interesting not only because it provides a topologically distinct phase of matter, physically manifested in its protected transport properties, but also since within this system, ballistic transport of high quality can be realized, with Rashba spin-orbit coupling and electron densities that are tunable by electrical gating. Extending the Bernvevig-Hughes-Zhang model for 2D topological insulators, we derive an effective four-band model including Rashba spin-orbit terms due to an applied potential that breaks the spatial inversion symmetry of the quantum well. Spin transport in this system shows interesting physics because the effects of Rashba spin-orbit terms and the intrinsic Dirac-like spin-orbit terms compete. We show that the resulting spin Hall signal can be dominated by the effect of Rashba spin-orbit coupling. Based on spin splitting due to the latter, we propose a beam splitter setup for all-electrical generation and detection of spin currents. Its working principle is similar to optical birefringence. In this setup, we analyse spin current and spin polarization signals of different spin vector components and show that large in-plane spin polarization of the current can be obtained. Since spin is not a conserved quantity of the model,
we first analyse the transport of helicity, a conserved quantity even in presence of Rashba spin-orbit terms. The polarization defined in terms of helicity is related to in-plane polarization of the physical spin.
Further, we analyse thermoelectric transport in a setup showing the spin Hall effect. Due to spin-orbit coupling, an applied temperature gradient generates a transverse spin current, i.e. a spin Nernst effect, which is related to the spin Hall effect by a Mott-like relation. In the metallic energy regimes, the signals are qualitatively explained by simple analytic models. In the insulating regime, we observe a spin Nernst signal that originates from the finite-size induced overlap of edge states.
In the part on methods, we discuss two complementary methods for construction of effective semiconductor models, the envelope function theory and the method of invariants. Further, we present elements of transport theory, with some emphasis on spin-dependent signals. We show the connections of the adiabatic theorem of quantum mechanics to the semiclassical theory of electronic transport and to the characterization of topological phases. Further, as application of the adiabatic theorem to a control problem, we show that universal control of a single spin in a heavy-hole quantum dot is experimentally realizable without breaking time reversal invariance,
but using a quadrupole field which is adiabatically changed as control knob. For experimental realization, we propose a GaAs/GaAlAs quantum well system.

The quantum Hall (QH) effect, which can be induced in a two-dimensional (2D) electron gas by an external magnetic field, paved the way for topological concepts in condensed matter physics. While the QH effect can for that reason not exist without Landau levels, there is a plethora of topological phases of matter that can exist even in the absence of a magnetic field. For instance, the quantum spin Hall (QSH), the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH), and the three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI) phase are insulating phases of matter that owe their nontrivial topology to an inverted band structure. The latter results from a strong spin-orbit interaction or, generally, from strong relativistic corrections. The main objective of this thesis is to explore the fate of these preexisting topological states of matter, when they are subjected to an external magnetic field, and analyze their connection to quantum anomalies. In particular, the realization of the parity anomaly in solid state systems is discussed. Furthermore, band structure engineering, i.e., changing the quantum well thickness, the strain, and the material composition, is employed to manipulate and investigate various topological properties of the prototype TI HgTe.
Like the QH phase, the QAH phase exhibits unidirectionally propagating metallic edge channels. But in contrast to the QH phase, it can exist without Landau levels. As such, the QAH phase is a condensed matter analog of the parity anomaly. We demonstrate that this connection facilitates a distinction between QH and QAH states in the presence of a magnetic field. We debunk therefore the widespread belief that these two topological phases of matter cannot be distinguished, since they are both described by a $\mathbb{Z}$ topological invariant. To be more precise, we demonstrate that the QAH topology remains encoded in a peculiar topological quantity, the spectral asymmetry, which quantifies the differences in the number of states between the conduction and valence band. Deriving the effective action of QAH insulators in magnetic fields, we show that the spectral asymmetry is thereby linked to a unique Chern-Simons term which contains the information about the QAH edge states. As a consequence, we reveal that counterpropagating QH and QAH edge states can emerge when a QAH insulator is subjected to an external magnetic field. These helical-like states exhibit exotic properties which make it possible to disentangle QH and QAH phases. Our findings are of particular importance for paramagnetic TIs in which an external magnetic field is required to induce the QAH phase.
A byproduct of the band inversion is the formation of additional extrema in the valence band dispersion at large momenta (the `camelback'). We develop a numerical implementation of the $8 \times 8$ Kane model to investigate signatures of the camelback in (Hg,Mn)Te quantum wells. Varying the quantum well thickness, as well as the Mn-concentration, we show that the class of topologically nontrivial quantum wells can be subdivided into direct gap and indirect gap TIs. In direct gap TIs, we show that, in the bulk $p$-regime, pinning of the chemical potential to the camelback can cause an onset to QH plateaus at exceptionally low magnetic fields (tens of mT). In contrast, in indirect gap TIs, the camelback prevents the observation of QH plateaus in the bulk $p$-regime up to large magnetic fields (a few tesla). These findings allowed us to attribute recent experimental observations in (Hg,Mn)Te quantum wells to the camelback. Although our discussion focuses on (Hg,Mn)Te, our model should likewise apply to other topological materials which exhibit a camelback feature in their valence band dispersion.
Furthermore, we employ the numerical implementation of the $8\times 8$ Kane model to explore the crossover from a 2D QSH to a 3D TI phase in strained HgTe quantum wells. The latter exhibit 2D topological surface states at their interfaces which, as we demonstrate, are very sensitive to the local symmetry of the crystal lattice and electrostatic gating. We determine the classical cyclotron frequency of surface electrons and compare our findings with experiments on strained HgTe.

Over the last decade, the field of topological insulators has become one of the most vivid areas in solid state physics. This novel class of materials is characterized by an insulating bulk gap, which, in two-dimensional, time-reversal symmetric systems, is closed by helical edge states. The latter make topological insulators promising candidates for applications in high fidelity spintronics and topological quantum computing. This thesis contributes to bringing these fascinating concepts to life by analyzing transport through heterostructures formed by two-dimensional topological insulators in contact with metals or superconductors. To this end, analytical and numerical calculations are employed. Especially, a generalized wave matching approach is used to describe the edge and bulk states in finite size tunneling junctions on the same footing.
The numerical study of non-superconducting systems focuses on two-terminal metal/topological
insulator/metal junctions. Unexpectedly, the conductance signals originating from the bulk and
the edge contributions are not additive. While for a long junction, the transport is determined
purely by edge states, for a short junction, the conductance signal is built from both bulk and
edge states in a ratio, which depends on the width of the sample. Further, short junctions show
a non-monotonic conductance as a function of the sample length, which distinguishes the topologically non-trivial regime from the trivial one. Surprisingly, the non-monotonic conductance of the topological insulator can be traced to the formation of an effectively propagating solution, which is robust against scalar disorder.
The analysis of the competition of edge and bulk contributions in nanostructures is extended to transport through topological insulator/superconductor/topological insulator tunneling junctions. If the dimensions of the superconductor are small enough, its evanescent bulk modes
can couple edge states at opposite sample borders, generating significant and tunable crossed
Andreev reflection. In experiments, the latter process is normally disguised by simultaneous
electron transmission. However, the helical edge states enforce a spatial separation of both competing processes for each Kramers’ partner, allowing to propose an all-electrical measurement
of crossed Andreev reflection.
Further, an analytical study of the hybrid system of helical edge states and conventional superconductors in finite magnetic fields leads to the novel superconducting quantum spin Hall effect. It is characterized by edge states. Both the helicity and the protection against scalar disorder of these edge states are unaffected by an in-plane magnetic field. At the same time its superconducting gap and its magnetotransport signals can be tuned in weak magnetic fields, because the combination of helical edge states and superconductivity results in a giant g-factor. This is manifested in a non-monotonic excess current and peak splitting of the dI/dV characteristics as a function of the magnetic field. In consequence, the superconducting quantum spin Hall effect is an effective generator and detector for spin currents.
The research presented here deepens the understanding of the competition of bulk and edge
transport in heterostructures based on topological insulators. Moreover it proposes feasible experiments to all-electrically measure crossed Andreev reflection and to test the spin polarization of helical edge states.

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.

In this thesis I present results concerning realistic calculations of correlated fermionic many-body systems. One of the main objectives of this work was the implementation of a hybridization expansion continuous-time quantum Monte Carlo (CT-HYB) algorithm and of a flexible self-consistency loop based on the dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT). DMFT enables us to treat strongly correlated electron systems numerically. After the implementation and extensive testing of the program we investigated different problems to answer open questions concerning correlated systems and their numerical treatment.

The topic of this PhD thesis is the combination of topologically non-trivial phases with correlation effects stemming from Coulomb interaction between the electrons in a condensed matter system. Emphasis is put on both emerging benefits as well as hindrances, e.g. concerning the topological protection in the presence of strong interactions.
The physics related to topological effects is established in Sec. 2. Based on the topological band theory, we introduce topological materials including Chern insulators, topological insulators in two and three dimensions as well as Weyl semimetals. Formalisms for a controlled treatment of Coulomb correlations are presented in Sec. 3, starting with the topological field theory. The Random Phase Approximation is introduced as a perturbative approach, while in the strongly interacting limit the theory of quantum Hall ferromagnetism applies. Interactions in one dimension are special, and are treated through the Luttinger liquid description. The section ends with an overview of the expected benefits offered by the combination of topology and interactions, see Sec. 3.3.
These ideas are then elaborated in the research part. In Chap. II, we consider weakly interacting 2D topological insulators, described by the Bernevig-Hughes-Zhang model. This is applicable, e.g., to quantum well structures made of HgTe/CdTe or InAs/GaSb. The bulk band structure is here a mixture stemming from linear Dirac and quadratic Schrödinger fermions. We study the low-energy excitations in Random Phase Approximation, where a new interband plasmon emerges due to the combined Dirac and Schrödinger physics, which is absent in the separate limits. Already present in the undoped limit, one finds it also at finite doping, where it competes with the usual intraband plasmon. The broken particle-hole symmetry in HgTe quantum wells allows for an effective separation of the two in the excitation spectrum for experimentally accessible parameters, in the right range for Raman or electron loss spectroscopy. The interacting bulk excitation spectrum shows here clear differences between the topologically trivial and topologically non-trivial regime. An even stronger signal in experiments is expected from the optical conductivity of the system. It thus offers a quantitative way to identify the topological phase of 2D topological insulators from a bulk measurement.
In Chap. III, we study a strongly interacting system, forming an ordered, quantum Hall ferromagnetic state. The latter can arise also in weakly interacting materials with an applied strong magnetic field. Here, electrons form flat Landau levels, quenching the kinetic energy such that Coulomb interaction can be dominant. These systems define the class of quantum Hall topological insulators: topologically non-trivial states at finite magnetic field, where the counter-propagating edge states are protected by a symmetry (spatial or spin) other than time-reversal. Possible material realizations are 2D topological insulators like HgTe heterostructures and graphene. In our analysis, we focus on the vicinity of the topological phase transition, where the system is in a strongly interacting quantum Hall ferromagnetic state. The bulk and edge physics can be described by a nonlinear \sigma-model for the collective order parameter of the ordered state. We find that an emerging, continuous U(1) symmetry offers topological protection. If this U(1) symmetry is preserved, the topologically non-trivial phase persists in the presence of interactions, and we find a helical Luttinger liquid at the edge. The latter is highly tunable by the magnetic field, where the effective interaction strength varies from weakly interacting at zero field, K \approx 1, to diverging interaction strength at the phase transition, K -> 0.
In the last Chap. IV, we investigate whether a Weyl semimetal and a 3D topological insulator phase can exist together at the same time, with a combined, hybrid surface state at the joint boundaries. An overlap between the two can be realized by Coulomb interaction or a spatial band overlap of the two systems. A tunnel coupling approach allows us to derive the hybrid surface state Hamiltonian analytically, enabling a detailed study of its dispersion relation. For spin-symmetric coupling, new Dirac nodes emerge out of the combination of a single Dirac node and a Fermi arc. Breaking the spin symmetry through the coupling, the dispersion relation is gapped and the former Dirac node gets spin-polarized. We propose experimental realizations of the hybrid physics, including compressively strained HgTe as well as heterostructures of topological insulator and Weyl semimetal materials, connected to each other, e.g., by Coulomb interaction.

In the last decade continuous-time quantum Monte Carlo in the hybridization expansion (CTHYB) was one of the most successful Monte Carlo techniques to describe correlated quantum phenomena in conjunction with dynamical mean field theory (DMFT). The first part of the thesis consists of algorithmical developments regarding CTHYB and DMFT. I provide a complete derivation and an extensive discussion of the expansion formula. We generalized it to treat spin-orbit coupling, and invented the superstate sampling algorithm to make it efficient enough for describing systems with general interactions, crystal fields and spin-orbit coupling at low temperatures. But CTHYB is known to fail in the standard implementation for equal-time correlators, certain higher-order Green’s functions and the atomic limit; we discovered that its estimator for the Greens function is also inconsistent for Anderson impurities with finite, discrete baths. I focus then on further improvements of CTHYB that we have conceived and worked on, in particular for f-orbitals and for taking physical symmetries into account in the calculation of the Monte Carlo observables. The second part of the thesis presents selected physical applications of these methods. I show DMFT calculations of highest accuracy for elemental iron and nickel and discover a new mechanism of magnetic ordering in nickel: the ordering of band structure-induced local moments. Then we analyze the stability of this phenomenon under pressure and temperatures, that characterize in the Earth’s core. We find, that the mechanism survives these conditions and may give a significant contribution to the generation of the Earth’s magnetic field. The next topic is the stability of double Dirac fermions against electronic correlations. We find, that the Coulomb interaction in the corresponding material Bi2 CuO4 are strong enough to destroy the double Dirac cone, and substantial uniform pressure is necessary to restore them. In the last chapter I derive the properties of Higgs and Goldstone bosons from Ginzburg-Landau theory, and identify these excitations in a model of an excitonic magnet.

The last years have witnessed an exciting scientific quest for intriguing topological phenomena in time-dependent quantum systems. A key to many manifestations of topology in dynamical systems relies on the effective dimensional extension by time-periodic drives. An archetypal example is provided by the Thouless pump in one spatial dimension, where a robust and quantized charge transport can be described in terms of an integer quantum Hall effect upon interpreting time as an extra dimension. Generalizing this fundamental concept to multifrequency driving, a variety of higher-dimensional topological models can be engineered in dynamical synthetic dimensions, where the underlying topological classification leads to quantized pumping effects in the associated lower-dimensional time-dependent systems.
In this Thesis, we explore how correlations profoundly impact the topological features of dynamical synthetic quantum materials. More precisely, we demonstrate that the interplay of interaction and dynamical synthetic dimension gives rise to striking topological phenomena that go beyond noninteracting implementations. As a starting point, we exploit the Floquet counterpart of an integer quantum Hall scenario, namely a two-level system driven by two incommensurate frequencies. In this model, the topologically quantized response translates into a process in which photons of different frequencies are exchanged between the external modes, referred to as topological frequency conversion. We extend this prototypical setup to an interacting version, focusing on the minimal case of two correlated spins equally exposed to the external drives. We show that the topological invariant determining the frequency conversion can be changed by odd integers, something explicitly forbidden in the noninteracting limit of two identical spins. This correlated topological feature may, in turn, result in an enhancement of the quantized response.
Robust response signals, such as those predicted for the topological frequency converter, are of fundamental interest for potential technological applications of topological quantum matter. Based on an open quantum system implementation of the frequency converter, we propose a novel mechanism of topological quantization coined ''topological burning glass effect''. Remarkably, this mechanism amplifies the local response of the driven two-level system by an integer that is proportional to the number of environmental degrees of freedom to which the system is strongly coupled. Specifically, our findings are illustrated by the extension of the frequency converter to a central spin model. There, the local energy transfer mediated exclusively by the central spin is significantly enhanced by the collective motion of the surrounding spins. In this sense, the central spin adopts the topological nature of the total system in its non-unitary dynamics, taking into account the correlations with the environment.

Relativistic effects crucially influence the fundamental properties of many quantum materials. In the accelerated reference frame of an electron, the electric field of the nuclei is transformed into a magnetic field that couples to the electron spin. The resulting interaction between an electron spin and its orbital angular momentum, known as spin-orbit coupling (SOC), is hence fundamental to the physics of many condensed matter phenomena. It is particularly important quantitatively in low-dimensional quantum systems, where its coexistence with inversion symmetry breaking can lead to a splitting of spin degeneracy and spin momentum locking. Using the paradigm of Landau Fermi liquid theory, the physics of SOC can be adequately incorporated in an effective single particle picture. In a weak coupling approach, electronic correlation effects beyond single particle propagator renormalization can trigger Fermi surface instabilities such as itinerant magnetism, electron nematic phases, superconductivity, or other symmetry broken states of matter.
In this thesis, we use a weak coupling-based approach to study the effect of SOC on Fermi surface instabilities and, in particular, superconductivity. This encompasses a weak coupling renormalization group formulation of unconventional superconductivity as well as the random phase approximation. We propose a unified formulation for both of these two-particle Green’s function approaches based on the notion of a generalized susceptibility.
In the half-Heusler semimetal and superconductor LuPtBi, both SOC and electronic correlation
effects are prominent, and thus indispensable for any concise theoretical description. The metallic and weakly dispersive surface states of this material feature spin momentum locked Fermi surfaces, which we propose as a possible domain for the onset of unconventional surface superconductivity. Using our framework for the analysis of Fermi surface instability and combining it with ab-initio density functional theory calculations, we analyse the surface band structure of LuPtBi, and particularly its propensity towards Cooper pair formation. We study how the presence of strong SOC modifies the classification of two-electron wave functions as well as the screening of electron-electron interactions. Assuming an electronic mechanism, we identify a chiral superconducting condensate featuring Majorana edge modes to be energetically favoured over a wide range of model parameters.