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Quantum point contacts (QPCs) are one-dimensional constrictions in an otherwise extended two-dimensional electron or hole system. Since their first realization in GaAs based two-dimensional electron gases, QPCs have become basic building blocks of mesoscopic physics and are used in manifold experimental contexts. A so far unrealized goal however is the implementation of QPCs in the new material class of two-dimensional topological insulators, which host the emergence of the so-called quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect. The latter is characterized by the formation of conducting one-dimensional spin-polarized states at the device edges, while the bulk is insulating. Consequently, an implemented QPC technology can be utilized to bring the QSH edge channels in close spatial proximity, thus for example enabling the study of interaction effects between the edge states. The thesis at hand describes the technological realization as well as the subsequent experimental characterization and analysis of QPCs in a QSH system for the first time.
After an introduction is given in Chapter 1, the subsequent Chapter 2 starts with discussing the peculiar band structure of HgTe. The emergence of the QSH phase for HgTe quantum wells with an inverted band structure is explained. For the band inversion to occur, the quantum wells have to exhibit a well thickness d_QW above a critical value (d_QW > d_c = 6.3 nm). Subsequently, the concept of QPCs is explicated and the corresponding transport behaviour is analytically described. Following the discussion of relevant constraints when realizing a QPC technology in a QSH system, a newly developed lithography process utilizing a multi-step wet etching technique for fabricating QPC devices based on HgTe quantum wells is presented. Transport measurements of exemplary devices show the expected conductance quantization in steps of ΔG ≈ 2e^2/h within the conduction band for a topological as well as for a trivial (d_QW < d_c) QPC. For the topological case, the residual conductance within the bulk band gap saturates at G_QSH ≈ 2e^2/h due to presence of the QSH state, while it drops to G ≈ 0 for the trivial device. Moreover, bias voltage dependent measurements of the differential conductance of an inverted sample provide explicit proof of the unperturbed coexistence of topological and trivial transport modes.
In a next step, Chapter 3 describes the emergence of a QSH interferometer state in narrow QPC devices with a quantum well thickness of d_QW = 7 nm. Presented band structure calculations reveal that the spatial extension of the QSH edge states depends on the position of the Fermi energy within the bulk band gap. As a consequence, reservoir electrons with randomized spin couple to both edge channels with the same probability under certain conditions, thus causing the formation of a QSH ring. A straightforward model capturing and specifying the occurrence of such a QSH interferometer is provided as well as substantiated by two experimental plausibility checks. After relevant quantum phases are theoretically introduced, the discussion of the obtained data reveals the accumulation of an Aharonov-Bohm phase, of a dynamical Aharonov-Casher phase as well as of a spin-orbit Berry phase of π in appropriate QPC devices. These results are consistent with analytic model considerations.
The last part of this thesis, Chapter 4, covers the observation of an unexpected conductance pattern for QPC samples fabricated from quantum wells with d_QW = 10.5 nm. In these devices, an anomalous plateau at G ≈ e^2/h = 0.5 x G_QSH emerges in addition to the QSH phase entailed residual conductance of G_QSH ≈ 2e^2/h. This so-called 0.5 anomaly occurs only for a specific interval of QPC width values, while it starts to get lost for too large sample widths. Furthermore, presented temperature and bias voltage dependent measurements insinuate that the emergence of the 0.5 anomaly is related to a gapped topological state. Additional characterization of this peculiar transport regime is provided by the realization of a novel device concept, which integrates a QPC within a standard Hall bar geometry. The results of the experimental analysis of such a sample link the occurrence of the 0.5 anomaly to a backscattered QSH channel. Thus, following a single particle perspective argumentation, it is reasoned that only one edge channel is transmitted in the context of the 0.5 anomaly. Two theoretic models possibly explaining the emergence of the 0.5 anomaly -- based on electron-electron interactions -- are discussed.
To conclude, the implementation of a working QPC technology in a QSH system represents a paramount development in the context of researching two-dimensional topological insulators and enables a multitude of future experiments. QPC devices realized in a QSH system are for example envisaged to allow for the detection of Majorana fermions and parafermions. Furthermore, the reported formation of a QSH interferometer state in appropriate QPC devices is of high interest. The observed dynamical Aharonov-Casher phase in the QSH regime enables a controllable modulation of the topological conductance, thus providing the conceptual basis for a topological transistor. Moreover, due to the resilience of geometric phases against dephasing, the presence of a spin-orbit Berry phase of π represents a promising perspective with regard to possible quantum computation concepts. Besides that, the transmission of only one QSH edge channel due to the emergence of the 0.5 anomaly is equivalent to 100 % spin polarization, which is an essential ingredient for realizing spintronic applications. Hence, the thesis at hand covers the experimental detection of three effects of fundamental importance in the context of developing new generations of logic devices -- based on QPCs fabricated from topological HgTe quantum wells.

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.

Recently a new state of matter was discovered in which the bulk insulating state in a material is accompanied by conducting surface or edge states. This new state of matter can be distinguished from a conventional insulator phase by the topological properties of its band structure which led to the name "topological insulators". Experimentally, topological insulator states are mostly found in systems characterized by a band inversion compared to conventional systems. In most topological insulator systems, this is caused by a combination of energetically close bands and spin orbit coupling. Such properties are found in systems with heavy elements like Hg and Bi. And indeed, the first experimental discovery of a topological insulator succeeded in HgTe quantum wells and later also in BiSb bulk systems.
Topological insulators are of large interest due to their unique properties: In 2-dimensional topological insulators one dimensional edge states form without the need of an external magnetic field (in contrast to the quantum Hall effect). These edge states feature a linear band dispersion, a so called Dirac dispersion. The quantum spin Hall states are helical edge states, which means they consist of counterpropagating oppositely spin polarized edge channels. They are therefore of great potential for spintronic applications as well as building blocks for new more exotic states like Majorana Fermions. 3-dimensional topological insulators feature 2-dimensional surface states with only one Dirac band (also called Dirac cone) on each surface and an interesting spin texture where spin and momentum are locked perpendicular to each other in the surface plane. This unique surface band structure is predicted to be able to host several exotic states like e.g. Majorana Fermions (in combination with superconductors) and magnetic monopole like excitations.
This PhD thesis will summarize the discovery of topological insulators and highlights the developments on their experimental observations. The work focuses on HgTe which is up to now the only topological insulator material where the expected properties are unambiguously demonstrated in transport experiments. In HgTe, the topological insulator properties arise from the inversion of the Gamma_6 and Gamma_8 bands. The band inversion in HgTe is due to a combination of a high spin orbit splitting in Te and large energy corrections (due to the mass-velocity term) to the energy levels in Hg. Bulk HgTe, however, is a semimetal, which means for the conversion into a topological insulator a band gap has to be opened. In two dimensions (HgTe quantum well structures) this is achieved via quantum confinement, which opens a band gap between the quantum well subbands. In three dimensions, strain is used to lift the degeneracy of the semimetallic Gamma_8 bands opening up a band gap.
The thesis is structured as follows:
- The first chapter of this thesis will give a brief overview on discoveries in the field of topological insulators. It focuses on works relevant to experimental results presented in the following chapters. This includes a short outline of the early predictions and a summary of important results concerning 2-dimensional topological insulators while the final section discusses observations concerning 3-dimensional topological insulators.
- The discovery of the quantum spin Hall effect in HgTe marked the first experimental observation of a topological insulator. Chapter 2 will focus on HgTe quantum wells and the quantum spin Hall effect.
Above a critical thickness, HgTe quantum wells are predicted to host the quantum spin Hall state, the signature of a 2-dimensional topological insulator. HgTe quantum wells exhibiting low carrier concentrations and at the same time high carrier mobilities are required to be able to measure the quantum spin Hall effect. The growth of such high quality HgTe quantum wells was one of the major goals for this work. Continuous optimization of the substrate preparation and growth conditions resulted in controlled carrier densities down to a few 10^10 cm^-2. At the same time, carrier mobilities exceeding 1 x 10^6 cm^2/Vs have been achieved, which provides mean free paths of several micrometers in the material. Thus the first experimental evidence for the existence of the quantum spin Hall edge states succeeded in transport experiments on microstructures: When the Fermi energy was located in the bulk band gap a residual quantized resistance of 2e^2/h was found. Further experiments focused on investigating the nature of transport in this regime. By non-local measurements the edge state character could be established. The measured non-local resistances corresponded well with predictions from the Landauer-Büttiker theory applied to transport in helical edge channels.
In a final set of experiments the spin polarization of the edge channels was investigated. Here, we could make use of the advantage that HgTe quantum well structures exhibit a large Rashba spin orbit splitting. In systems with a large Rashba spin orbit splitting a spin accumulation is expected to occur at the edge of the sample perpendicular to a current flow. This so-called spin Hall effect was then used as a spin injector and detector. Using split gate devices it was possible to bring spin Hall and quantum spin Hall state into direct contact, which enabled an all electrical detection of the spin polarization of the quantum spin Hall edge channels.
- HgTe as a 3-dimensional topological insulator will be presented in chapter 3. Straining the HgTe layer enables the observation of topological insulator behavior. It was found that strain can be easily implemented during growth by using CdTe substrates. CdTe has a slightly larger lattice constant than HgTe and therefore leads to tensile strain in the HgTe layer as long as the growth is pseudomorphic. Magnetotransport studies showed the emergence of quantum Hall transport with characteristic signatures of a Dirac type bandstructure. Thus, this result marks the first observation of the quantum Hall effect in the surface states of a 3-dimensional topological insulator.
Transport experiments on samples fitted with a top gate enabled the identification of contributions from individual surfaces. Furthermore, the surface state quantum Hall effect was found to be surprisingly stable, perturbations due to additional bulk transport could not be found, even at high carrier densities of the system.
- Chapters 4 - 6 serve as in depth overviews of selected works: Chapter 4 presents a detailed overview on the all electrical detection of the spin Hall effect in HgTe quantum wells. The detection of the spin polarization of the quantum spin Hall effect is shown in chapter 5 and chapter 6 gives a detailed overview on the quantum Hall effect originating from the topological surface state in strained bulk HgTe.
The investigations discussed in this thesis pioneered the experimental work on the transport properties of topological insulator systems. The understanding of the fundamental properties of topological insulators enables new experiments in which e.g. the inclusion of magnetic dopants or the interplay between topological insulator and superconductors can be investigated in detail.

The subject of this thesis is the growth of Hg\(_{1-x}\)Cd\(_2\)Te layers via molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).
This material system gives rise to a number of extraordinary physical phenomena related to its electronic band structure and therefore is of fundamental interest in research.
The main results can be divided into three main areas, the implementation of a temperature measurement system based on band edge thermometry (BET), improvements of CdTe virtual substrate growth and the investigation of Hg\(_{1-x}\)Cd\(_2\)Te for different compositions.

The motivation for this work has been contributing a step to the advancement of technology. A next leap in technology would be the realization of a scalable quantum computer. One potential route is via topological quantum computing. A profound understanding of topological materials is thus essential. My work contributes by the investigation of the exemplary topological material HgTe. The focus lies on the understanding of the topological surface states (TSS) and new possibilities to manipulate them appropriately. Traditionally top gate electrodes are used to adjust the carrier density in such semi-conductor materials. We found that the electric field of the top gate can further alter the properties of the HgTe layer. The formation of additional massive Volkov-Pankratov states limits the accessibility of the TSS. The understanding of these states and their interplay with the TSS is necessary to appropriately design devices and to ensure their desired properties. Similarly, I observed the existence and stability of TSSs even without a bandgap in the bulk band structure in the inversion induced Dirac semi-metal phase of compressively strained HgTe. The finding of topological surface states in inversion-induced Dirac semi-metals provides a consistent and simple explanation for the observation reported for \(\text{Cd}_3\text{As}_2\).
These observations have only been possible due to the high quality of the MBE grown HgTe layers and the access of different phases of HgTe via strain engineering. As a starting point I performed Magneto-transport measurements on 67 nm thick tensilely strained HgTe layers grown on a CdTe substrate. We observed multiple transport channels in this three-dimensional topological insulator and successfully identified them. Not only do the expected topological surface states exist, but also additional massive surface states have been observed. These additional massive surface states are formed due to the electrical field applied at the top gate, which is routinely used to vary the carrier density in the HgTe layer. The additional massive surface states are called Volkov-Pankratov states after B. A. Volkov and O. A. Pankratov. They predicted the existence of similar massive surface states at the interface of materials with mutually inverted bands. We first found indications for such massive Volkov-Pankratov states in high-frequency compressibility measurements for very high electron densities in a fruitful collaboration with LPA in Paris. Magneto-transport measurements and \(k \cdot p\) calculations revealed that such Volkov-Pankratov states are also responsible for the observed whole transport. We also found indications for similar massive VPS in the electron regime, which coexist with the topological surface states. The topological surface states exist over the full investigated gate range including a regime of pure topological insulator transport. To increase the variability of the topological surface states we introduced a modulation doping layer in the buffer layer. This modulation doping layer also enabled us to separate and identify the top and bottom topological surface states.
We used the variability of the bulk band structure of HgTe with strain to engineer the band structure of choice using virtual substrates. The virtual substrates enable us to grow compressively strained HgTe layers that do not possess a bandgap, but instead linear crossing points. These layers are predicted to beDirac semi-metals. Indeed I observed also topological surface states and massive Volkov-Pankratov states in the compressively strained Dirac semi-metal phase. The observation of topological surfaces states also in the Dirac semi-metal phase has two consequences: First, it highlights that no bulk bandgap is necessary to observe topological surface states. Second, the observation of TSS also in the Dirac semi-metal phase emphasizes the importance of the underlying band inversion in this phase. I could not find any clear signatures of the predicted disjoint topological surface states, which are typically called Fermi-arcs. The presence of topological surface states and massive Volkov-Pankratov states offer a simple explanation for the observed quantum Hall effect and other two-dimensional transport phenomena in the class of inversion induced Dirac semi-metals, as \(\text{Cd}_3\text{As}_2\). This emphasizes the importance of the inherent bulk band inversion of different topological materials and provides a consistent and elegant explanation for the observed phenomena in these materials. Additionally, it offers a route to design further experiments, devices, and thus the foundation for the induction of superconductivity and thus topological quantum computing.
Another possible path towards quantum computing has been proposed based on the chiral anomaly. The chiral anomaly is an apparent transport anomaly that manifests itself as an additional magnetic field-driven current in three-dimensional topological semimetals with a linear crossing point in their bulk band structure. I observed the chiral anomaly in compressively strained HgTe samples and performed multiple control experiments to identify the observed reduction of the magnetoresistance with the chiral anomaly. First, the dependence of the so-called negative magnetoresistance on the angle and strength of the magnetic field has been shown to fit the expectation for the chiral anomaly. Second, extrinsic effects as scattering could be excluded as a source for the observed negative MR using samples with different mobilities and thus impurity concentrations. Third, the necessity of the linear crossing point has been shown by shifting the electrochemical potential away from the linear crossing points, which diminished the negative magnetoresistance. Fourth, I could not observe a negative magnetoresistance in the three-dimensional topological insulator phase of HgTe. These observations together prove the existence of the chiral anomaly and verify compressively strained HgTe as Dirac semi-metal. Surprisingly, the chiral anomaly is also present in unstrained HgTe samples, which constitute a semi-metal with a quadratic band touching point. This observation reveals the relevance of the Zeeman effect for the chiral anomaly due to the lifting of the spin-degeneracy in these samples. Additionally to the chiral anomaly, the Dirac semi-metal phase of compressively strained HgTe showed other interesting effects. For low magnetic fields, a strong weak-antilocalization has been observed. Such a strong weak-anti-localization correction in a three-dimensional layer is surprising and interesting. Additionally, non-trivial magnetic field strength and direction dependencies have been observed. These include a strong positive magnetoresistance for high magnetic fields, which could indicate a metal-insulator transition. On a more device-oriented note, the semi-metal phase of unstrained HgTe constitutes the lower limit of the by strain engineering adjustable minimal carrier density of the topological surface states and thus of very high mobility.
To sum up, topological surface states have been observed in the three-dimensional topological insulator phase and the Dirac semi-metal phase of HgTe. The existence and accessibility of topological surface states are thus independent of the existence of a bandgap in the bulk band structure. The topological surface states can be accompanied by massive Volkov-Pankratov states. These VPS are created by electric fields, which are routinely applied to adjust the carrier density in semiconductor devices. The theoretical predicted chiral anomaly has been observed in the Dirac semi-metal phase of HgTe. In contrast to theoretical predictions, no indications for the Fermi-arc called disjoint surface states have been observed, but instead the topological and massive Volkov-Pankratov surface states have been found. These states are thus expected for all inversion-induced topological materials.

The thesis at hand is concerned with improving our understanding of and our control over transport properties of the three-dimensional topological insulator HgTe. Topological insulators are characterized by an insulating bulk and symmetry-protected metallic surface states. These topological surface states hold great promise for research and technology; at the same time, many properties of experimentally accessible topological insulator materials still need to be explored thoroughly. The overall aim of this thesis was to experimentally investigate micrometer-sized HgTe transport devices to observe the ballistic transport regime as well as intercarrier scattering and possibly identify special properties of the topological surface states.
Part I of the thesis presents lithographic developments concerned with etching small HgTe devices. The aim was to replace existing processes which relied on dry etching with high-energy \(\text{Ar}^+\) ions and an organic etch mask. This etching method is known to degrade the HgTe crystal quality. In addition, the etch mask turned out to be not durable for long etching processes and difficult to remove completely after etching. First, \(\text{BaF}_2\) was introduced as a new etch mask for dry etching to replace the organic etch mask. With common surface characterization techniques like SEM and XPS it was shown that \(\text{BaF}_2\) etch masks are easy to deposit, highly durable in common dry etching processes for \(\text{Hg}_{1-x}\text{Cd}_x\text{Te}\), and easy to remove in deionized water. Transport results of HgTe devices fabricated with the new etch mask are comparable to results obtained with the old process. At the same time, the new etch mask can withstand longer etching times and does not cause problems due to incomplete removal. Second, a new inductively coupled plasma dry etching process based on \(\text{CH}_4\) and Ar was introduced. This etching process is compatible with \(\text{BaF}_2\) etch masks and yields highly reproducible results. Transport results indicate that the new etching process does not degrade the crystal quality and is suitable to produce high-quality transport devices even in the micrometer range. A comparison with wet-etched samples shows that inductively coupled plasma etching introduces a pronounced edge roughness. This - usually undesirable - property is actually beneficial for some of the experiments in this study and mostly irrelevant for others. Therefore, most samples appearing in this thesis were fabricated with the new process.
Part II of the thesis details the advancements made in identifying topological and trivial states which contribute to transport in HgTe three-dimensional topological insulators. To this end, macroscopic Hall bar samples were fabricated from high-quality tensilely strained HgTe layers by means of the improved lithographic processes. All samples were equipped with a top gate electrode, and some also with a modulation doping layer or a back gate electrode to modify the carrier density of the surface states on both sides of the HgTe layer. Due to the high sample quality, Landau levels could be well-resolved in standard transport measurements down to magnetic fields of less than 0.5T. High-resolution measurements of the Landau level dispersion with gate voltage and magnetic field allowed disentangling different transport channels. The main result here is that the upper (electron) branches of the two topological surface states contribute to transport in all experimentally relevant density regimes, while the hole branch is not accessible. Far in n-regime bulk conduction band states give a minor contribution to transport. More importantly, trivial bulk valence band holes come into play close to the charge neutrality point. Further in p-regime, the strong applied gate voltage leads to the formation of two-dimensional, massive hole states at the HgTe surface. The interplay of different states gives rise to rich physics: Top gate-back gate maps revealed that an anticrossing of Landau levels from the two topological surface states occurs at equal filling. A possible explanation for this effect is a weak hybridization of the surface states; however, future studies need to further clarify this point. Furthermore, the superposition of n-type topological and p-type trivial surface states leads to an intriguing Landau level dispersion. The good quantization of the Hall conductance in this situation indicates that the counterpropagating edge states interact with each other. The nature of this interaction will be the topic of further research.
Part III of the thesis is focused on HgTe microstructures. These "channel samples" have a typical width of 0.5 to 4µm and a typical length of 5 to 80µm. The quality of these devices benefits particularly from the improved lithographic processes. As a result, the impurity mean free path of the topological surface state electrons is on the order of the device width and transport becomes semiballistic. This was verified by measuring the channel resistance in small magnetic fields in n-regime. The deflection of carriers towards the dissipative channel walls results in a pronounced peak in the magnetoresistance, which scales in a predictable manner with the channel width. To investigate transport effects due to mutual scattering of charge carriers, the differential resistance of channel samples was measured as a function of carrier temperature. Selective heating of the charge carriers - but not the lattice - was achieved by passing a heating current through the channel. Increasing the carrier temperature has two pronounced effects when the Fermi level is situated in proximity to the bulk valence band maximum where the density of states is large. First, when both topological surface state electrons and bulk holes are present, electron-hole scattering leads to a pronounced increase in resistance with increasing carrier temperature. Second, a thermally induced increase of the electron and hole carrier densities reduces the resistance again at higher temperatures. A model considering these two effects was developed, which can well reproduce the experimental results. Current heating experiments in zero-gap HgTe quantum wells and compressively strained HgTe layers are consistent with this model. These observations raise the question as to how electron-hole scattering may affect other transport properties of HgTe-based three-dimensional topological insulators, which is briefly discussed in the outlook.

In the present thesis the MBE growth and sample characterization of HgTe structures is investigated
and discussed. Due to the first experimental discovery of the quantum Spin Hall effect
(QSHE) in HgTe quantum wells, this material system attains a huge interest in the spintronics
society. Because of the long history of growing Hg-based heterostructures here at the Experimentelle
Physik III in Würzburg, there are very good requirements to analyze this material
system more precisely and in new directions. Since in former days only doped HgTe quantum
wells were grown, this thesis deals with the MBE growth in the (001) direction of undoped
HgTe quantum wells, surface located quantum wells and three dimensional bulk layers. All
Hg-based layers were grown on CdTe substrates which generate strain in the layer stack and
provide therefore new physical effects. In the same time, the (001) CdTe growth was investigated
on n-doped (001) GaAs:Si because the Japanese supplier of CdTe substrates had a
supply bottleneck due to the Tohoku earthquake and its aftermath in 2011.
After a short introduction of the material system, the experimental techniques were demonstrated
and explained explicitly. After that, the experimental part of this thesis is displayed.
So, the investigation of the (001) CdTe growth on (001) GaAs:Si is discussed in chapter 4.
Firstly, the surface preparation of GaAs:Si by oxide desorption is explored and analyzed.
Here, rapid thermal desorption of the GaAs oxide with following cool down in Zn atmosphere
provides the best results for the CdTe due to small holes at the surface, while e.g. an atomic
flat GaAs buffer deteriorates the CdTe growth quality. The following ZnTe layer supplies the
(001) growth direction of the CdTe and exhibits best end results of the CdTe for 30 seconds
growth time at a flux ratio of Zn/Te ~ 1/1.2. Without this ZnTe layer, CdTe will grow in the
(111) direction. However, the main investigation is here the optimization of the MBE growth
of CdTe. The substrate temperature, Cd/Te flux ratio and the growth time has to be adjusted
systematically. Therefore, a complex growth process is developed and established. This optimized
CdTe growth process results in a RMS roughness of around 2.5 nm and a FWHM value
of the HRXRD w-scan of 150 arcsec. Compared to the literature, there is no lower FWHM
value traceable for this growth direction. Furthermore, etch pit density measurements show
that the surface crystallinity is matchable with the commercial CdTe substrates (around 1x10^4
cm^(-2)). However, this whole process is not completely perfect and offers still room for improvements.
The growth of undoped HgTe quantum wells was also a new direction in research in contrast
to the previous n-doped grown HgTe quantum wells. Here in chapter 5, the goal of very low
carrier densities was achieved and therefore it is now possible to do transport experiments in
the n - and p - region by tuning the gate voltage. To achieve this high sample quality, very precise
growth of symmetric HgTe QWs and their HRXRD characterization is examined. Here,
the quantum well thickness can now determined accurate to under 0.3 nm. Furthermore, the transport analysis of different quantum well thicknesses shows that the carrier density and
mobility increase with rising HgTe layer thickness. However, it is found out that the band
gap of the HgTe QW closes indirectly at a thickness of 11.6 nm. This is caused by the tensile
strained growth on CdTe substrates. Moreover, surface quantum wells are studied. These
quantum wells exhibit no or a very thin HgCdTe cap. Though, oxidization and contamination
of the surface reduces here the carrier mobility immensely and a HgCdTe layer of around 5 nm
provides the pleasing results for transport experiments with superconductors connected to the
topological insulator [119]. A completely new achievement is the realization of MBE growth
of HgTe quantum wells on CdTe/GaAs:Si substrates. This is attended by the optimization of
the CdTe growth on GaAs:Si. It exposes that HgTe quantum wells grown in-situ on optimized
CdTe/GaAs:Si show very nice transport data with clear Hall plateaus, SdH oscillations, low
carrier densities and carrier mobilities up to 500 000 cm^2/Vs. Furthermore, a new oxide etching
process is developed and analyzed which should serve as an alternative to the standard
HCl process which generates volcano defects at some time. However, during the testing time
the result does not differ in Nomarski, HRXRD, AFM and transport measurements. Here,
long-time tests or etching and mounting in nitrogen atmosphere may provide new elaborate
results.
The main focus of this thesis is on the MBE growth and standard characterization of HgTe bulk
layers and is discussed in chapter 6. Due to the tensile strained growth on lattice mismatched
CdTe, HgTe bulk opens up a band gap of around 22 meV at the G-point and exhibits therefore
its topological surface states. The analysis of surface condition, roughness, crystalline quality,
carrier density and mobility via Nomarski, AFM, XPS, HRXRD and transport measurements
is therefore included in this work. Layer thickness dependence of carrier density and mobility
is identified for bulk layer grown directly on CdTe substrates. So, there is no clear correlation
visible between HgTe layer thickness and carrier density or mobility. So, the carrier density is
almost constant around 1x10^11 cm^(-2) at 0 V gate voltage. The carrier mobility of these bulk
samples however scatters between 5 000 and 60 000 cm^2/Vs almost randomly. Further experiments
should be made for a clearer understanding and therefore the avoidance of unusable
bad samples.But, other topological insulator materials show much higher carrier densities and
lower mobility values. For example, Bi2Se3 exhibits just density values around 1019 cm^(-2)
and mobility values clearly below 5000 cm2/Vs. The carrier density however depends much
on lithography and surface treatment after growth. Furthermore, the relaxation behavior and
critical thickness of HgTe grown on CdTe is determined and is in very good agreement with
theoretical prediction (d_c = 155 nm). The embedding of the HgTe bulk layer between HgCdTe
layers created a further huge improvement. Similar to the quantum well structures the carrier
mobility increases immensely while the carrier density levels at around 1x10^11 cm^(-2) at 0
V gate voltage as well. Additionally, the relaxation behavior and critical thickness of these
barrier layers has to be determined. HgCdTe grown on commercial CdTe shows a behavior as
predicted except the critical thickness which is slightly higher than expected (d_c = 850 nm).
Otherwise, the relaxation of HgCdTe grown on CdTe/GaAs:Si occurs in two parts. The layer
is fully strained up to 250 nm. Between 250 nm and 725 nm the HgCdTe film starts to relax
randomly up to 10 %. The relaxation behavior for thicknesses larger than 725 nm occurs than
linearly to the inverse layer thickness. A explanation is given due to rough interface conditions
and crystalline defects of the CdTe/GaAs:Si compared to the commercial CdTe substrate. HRXRD and AFM data support this statement. Another point is that the HgCdTe barriers protect the active HgTe layer and because of the high carrier mobilities the Hall measurements provide new transport data which have to be interpreted more in detail in the future. In addition, HgTe bulk samples show very interesting transport data by gating the sample from the top and the back. It is now possible to manipulate the carrier densities of the top and bottom surface states almost separately. The back gate consisting of the n-doped GaAs substrate and the thick insulating CdTe buffer can tune the carrier density for Delta(n) ~ 3x10^11 cm^(-2). This is sufficient to tune the Fermi energy from the p-type into the n-type region [138].
In this thesis it is shown that strained HgTe bulk layers exhibit superior transport data by embedding between HgCdTe barrier layers. The n-doped GaAs can here serve as a back gate.
Furthermore, MBE growth of high crystalline, undoped HgTe quantum wells shows also new
and extended transport output. Finally, it is notable that due to the investigated CdTe growth
on GaAs the Hg-based heterostructure MBE growth is partially independent from commercial
suppliers.

The subject of this thesis is the control of strain in HgTe thin-film crystals. Such systems are members of the new class of topological insulator materials and therefore of special research interest. A major task was the experimental control of the strain in the HgTe films. This was achieved by a new epitaxial approach and confirmed by cristallographic analysis and magneto-transport measurements.
In this work, strain was induced in thin films by means of coherent epitaxy on substrate crystals. This means that the film adopts the lattice constant of the substrate in the plane of the substrate-epilayer interface. The level of strain is determined by the difference between the strain-free lattice constants of the substrate and epilayer material (the so-called lattice mismatch). The film responds to an in-plane strain with a change of its lattice constant perpendicular to the interface. This relationship is crucial for both the correct interpretation of high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) measurements, and the precise determination of the band dispersion. The lattice constant of HgTe is smaller than the lattice constant of CdTe. Therefore, strain in HgTe is tensile if it is grown on a CdTe substrate. In principle, compressive strain can be achieved by using an appropriate \(\text{Cd}_{1-x}\text{Zn}_{x}\text{Te}\) substrate. This concept was modified and applied in this work.
Epilayers have been fabricated by molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE). The growth of thick buffer layers of CdTe on GaAs:Si was established as an alternative to commercial CdTe and \(text{Cd}_{0.96}\text{Zn}_{0.04}\text{Te}\) substrates. The growth conditions have been optimized by an analysis of atomic force microscopy and HRXRD studies. HRXRD measurements reveal a power-law increase of the crystal quality with increasing thickness. Residual strain was found in the buffer layers, and was attributed to a combination of finite layer thickness and mismatch of the thermal expansion coefficients of CdTe and GaAs. In order to control the strain in HgTe epilayers, we have developed a new type of substrate with freely adjustable lattice constant.
CdTe-\(\text{Cd}_{0.5}\text{Zn}_{0.5}\text{Te}\) strained-layer-superlattices have been grown by a combination of MBE and atomic-layer epitaxy (ALE), and have been analyzed by HRXRD. ALE of the \(\text{Cd}_{0.5}\text{Zn}_{0.5}\text{Te}\) layer is self-limiting to one monolayer, and the effective lattice constant can be controlled reproducibly and straightforward by adjusting the CdTe layer thickness. The crystal quality has been found to degrade with increasing Zn-fraction. However, the effect is less drastic compared to single layer \(\text{Cd}_{1-x}\text{Zn}_{x}\text{Te}\) solid solutions. HgTe quantum wells (QWs) sandwiched in between CdHgTe barriers have been fabricated in a similar fashion on superlattices and conventional CdTe and \(\text{Cd}_{0.96}\text{Zn}_{0.04}\text{Te}\) substrates. The lower critical thickness of the CdHgTe barrier material grown on superlattice substrates had to be considered regarding the sample design. The electronic properties of the QWs depend on the strain and thickness of the QW. We have determined the QW thickness with an accuracy of \(\pm\)0.5 nm by an analysis of the beating patterns in the thickness fringes of HRXRD measurements and X-ray reflectometry measurements. We have, for the first time, induced compressive strain in HgTe QWs by an epitaxial technique (i.e. the effective lattice constant of the superlattice is lower compared to the lattice constant of HgTe). The problem of the lattice mismatch between superlattice and barriers has been circumvented by using CdHgTe-ZnHgTe superlattices instead of CdHgTe as a barrier material. Furthermore, the growth of compressively strained HgTe bulk layers (with a thickness of at least 50 nm) was demonstrated as well.
The control of the state of strain adds a new degree of freedom to the design of HgTe epilayers, which has a major influence on the band structure of QWs and bulk layers. Strain in bulk layers lifts the degeneracy of the \(\Gamma_8\) bands at \(\mathbf{k}=0\). Tensile strain opens an energy gap, compressive strain shifts the touching points of the valence- and conduction band to positions in the Brillouin zone with finite \(\mathbf{k}\). Such a situation has been realized for the first time in the course of this work. For QWs in the inverted regime, it is demonstrated that compressive strain can be used to significantly enhance the thermal energy gap of the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). In addition, semi-metallic and semiconducting behavior is expected in wide QWs, depending on the state of strain. An examination of the temperature dependence of the subband ordering in QWs revealed that the band gap is only temperature-stable for appropriate sample parameters and temperature regimes. The band inversion is always lifted for sufficiently high temperatures.
A large number of models investigate the influence of the band gap on the stability of the quantum-spin-Hall (QSH) effect. An enhancement of the stability of QSH edge state conductance is expected for enlarged band gaps. Furthermore, experimental studies on the temperature dependence of the QSH conductance are in contradiction to theoretical predictions. Systematic studies of these aspects have become feasible based on the new flexibility of the sample design.
Detailed low-temperature magnetotransport studies have been carried out on QWs and bulk layers. For this purpose, devices have been fabricated lithographically, which consist of two Hall-bar geometries with different dimensions. This allows to discriminate between conductance at the plane of the 2DEG and the edge of the sample. The Fermi energy in the 2DEG has been adjusted by means of a top gate electrode. The strain-induced transition from semi-metallic to semiconducting characteristics in wide QWs was shown. The magnitude of the semi-metallic overlap of valence- and conduction band was determined by an analysis of the two-carrier conductance and is in agreement with band structure calculations. The band gap of the semiconducting sample was determined by measurements of the temperature dependence of the conductance at the charge-neutrality point. Agreement with the value expected from theory has been achieved for the first time in this work. The influence of the band gap on the stability of QSH edge state conductance has been investigated on a set of six samples. The band gap of the set spans a range of 10 to 55 meV. The latter value has been achieved in a highly compressively strained QW, has been confirmed by temperature-dependent conductance measurements, and is the highest ever reported in the inverted regime. Studies of the carrier mobility reveal a degradation of the sample quality with increasing Zn-fraction in the superlattice, in agreement with HRXRD observations. The enhanced band gap does not suppress scattering mechanisms in QSH edge channels, but lowers the conductance in the plane of the 2DEG. Hence, edge state conductance is the dominant conducting process even at elevated temperatures. An increase in conductance with increasing temperature has been found, in agreement with reports from other groups. The increase follows a power-law dependency, the underlying physical mechanism remains open. A cause for the lack of an increase of the QSH edge state conductance with increasing energy gap has been discussed. Possibly, the sample remains insulating even at finite carrier densities, due to localization effects. The measurement does not probe the QSH edge state conductance at the situation where the Fermi energy is located in the center of the energy gap, but in the regime of maximized puddle-driven scattering. In a first set of measurements, it has been shown that the QSH edge state conductance can be influenced by hysteretic charging effects of trapped states in the insulating dielectric. A maximized conductance of \(1.6\ \text{e}^2/\text{h}\) was obtained in a \(58\ \mu\text{m}\) edge channel. Finally, measurements on three dimensional samples have been discussed. Recent theoretical works assign compressively strained HgTe bulk layers to the Weyl semi-metal class of materials. Such layers have been synthesized and studied in magnetotransport experiments for the first time. Pronounced quantum-Hall- and Shubnikov-de-Haas features in the Hall- and longitudinal resistance indicate two-dimensional conductance on the sample surface. However, this conductance cannot be assigned definitely to Weyl surface states, due to the inversion of \(\Gamma_6\) and \(\Gamma_8\) bands. If a magnetic field is aligned parallel to the current in the device, a decrease in the longitudinal resistance is observed with increasing magnetic field. This is a signature of the chiral anomaly, which is expected in Weyl semi-metals.

This thesis describes the studies of topological superconductivity, which is predicted to
emerge when pair correlations are induced into the surface states of 2D and 3D topolog-
ical insulators (TIs). In this regard, experiments have been designed to investigate the
theoretical ideas ﬁrst pioneered by Fu and Kane that in such system Majorana bound
states occur at vortices or edges of the system [Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 096407 (2008), Phys.
Rev. B 79, 161408 (2009)]. These states are of great interest as they constitute a new
quasiparticle which is its own antiparticle and can be used as building blocks for fault
tolerant topological quantum computing.
After an introduction in chapter 1, chapter 2 of the thesis lays the foundation for the
understanding of the ﬁeld of topology in the context of condensed matter physics with a
focus on topological band insulators and topological superconductors. Starting from a
Chern insulator, the concepts of topological band theory and the bulk boundary corre-
spondence are explained. It is then shown that the low energy Hamiltonian of mercury
telluride (HgTe) quantum wells of an appropriate thickness can be written as two time
reversal symmetric copies of a Chern insulator. This leads to the quantum spin Hall effect.
In such a system, spin-polarized one dimensional conducting states form at the edges
of the material, while the bulk is insulating. This concept is extended to 3D topological
insulators with conducting 2D surface states. As a preliminary step to treating topological
superconductivity, a short review of the microscopic theory of superconductivity, i.e. the
theory of Bardeen, Cooper, and Shrieffer (BCS theory) is presented. The presence of
Majorana end modes in a one dimensional superconducting chain is explained using the
Kitaev model. Finally, topological band insulators and conventional superconductivity
are combined to effectively engineer p-wave superconductivity. One way to investigate
these states is by measuring the periodicity of the phase of the Josephson supercurrent
in a topological Josephson junction. The signature is a 4π-periodicity compared to the
2π-periodicity in conventional Josephson junctions. The proof of the presence of this
effect in HgTe based Josephson junction is the main goal of this thesis and is discussed in
chapters 3 to 6.
Chapter 3 describes in detail the transport of a 3D topological insulator based weak
link under radio-frequency radiation. The chapter starts with a review of the state of
research of (i) strained HgTe as 3D topological insulator and (ii) the progress of induc-
ing superconducting correlations into the topological surface states and the theoretical
predictions of 3D TI based Josephson junctions. Josephson junctions based on strained
HgTe are successfully fabricated. Before studying the ac driven Josephson junctions, the
dc transport of the devices is analysed. The critical current as a function of temperature
is measured and it is possible to determine the induced superconducting gap. Under
rf illumination Shapiro steps form in the current voltage characteristic. A missing ﬁrst
step at low frequencies and low powers is found in our devices. This is a signature of
a 4π-periodic supercurrent. By studying the device in a wide parameter range - as a
147148 SUMMARY
function of frequency, power, device geometry and magnetic ﬁeld - it is shown that the
results are in agreement with the presence of a single gapless Andreev doublet and several
conventional modes.
Chapter 4 gives results of the numerical modelling of the I −V dynamics in a Josephson
junction where both a 2π- and a 4π-periodic supercurrents are present. This is done in
the framework of an equivalent circuit representation, namely the resistively shunted
Josephson junction model (RSJ-model). The numerical modelling is in agreement with
the experimental results in chapter 3. First, the missing of odd Shapiro steps can be
understood by a small 4π-periodic supercurrent contribution and a large number of
modes which have a conventional 2π-periodicity. Second, the missing of odd Shapiro
steps occurs at low frequency and low rf power. Third, it is shown that stochastic processes
like Landau Zener tunnelling are most probably not responsible for the 4π contribution.
In a next step the periodicity of Josephson junctions based on quantum spin Hall
insulators using are investigated in chapter 5. A fabrication process of Josephson junctions
based on inverted HgTe quantum wells was successfully developed. In order to achieve a
good proximity effect the barrier material was removed and the superconductor deposited
without exposing the structure to air. In a next step a gate electrode was fabricated which
allows the chemical potential of the quantum well to be tuned. The measurement of the
diffraction pattern of the critical current Ic due to a magnetic ﬁeld applied perpendicular
to the sample plane was conducted. In the vicinity to the expected quantum spin Hall
phase, the pattern resembles that of a superconducting quantum interference device
(SQUID). This shows that the current ﬂows predominantly on the edges of the mesa.
This observation is taken as a proof of the presence of edge currents. By irradiating the
sample with rf, missing odd Shapiro steps up to step index n = 9 have been observed. This
evidences the presence of a 4π-periodic contribution to the supercurrent. The experiment
is repeated using a weak link based on a non-inverted HgTe quantum well. This material
is expected to be a normal band insulator without helical edge channels. In this device,
all the expected Shapiro steps are observed even at low frequencies and over the whole
gate voltage range. This shows that the observed phenomena are directly connected
to the topological band structure. Both features, namely the missing of odd Shapiro
steps and the SQUID like diffraction pattern, appear strongest towards the quantum spin
Hall regime, and thus provide evidence for induced topological superconductivity in the
helical edge states.
A more direct way to probe the periodicity of the Josephson supercurrent than using
Shapiro steps is the measurement of the emitted radiation of a weak link. This experiment
is presented in chapter 6. A conventional Josephson junction converts a dc bias V to
an ac current with a characteristic Josephson frequency fJ
= eV /h. In a topological
Josephson junction a frequency at half the Josephson frequency fJ /2 is expected. A
new measurement setup was developed in order to measure the emitted spectrum of a
single Josephson junction. With this setup the spectrum of a HgTe quantum well based
Josephson junction was measured and the emission at half the Josephson frequency fJ /2
was detected. In addition, fJ emission is also detected depending on the gate voltage and
detection frequency. The spectrum is again dominated by half the Josephson emission at
low voltages while the conventional emission is determines the spectrum at high voltages.
A non-inverted quantum well shows only conventional emission over the whole gateSUMMARY 149
voltage and frequency range. The linewidth of the detected frequencies gives a measure
on the lifetime of the bound states: From there, a coherence time of 0.3–4ns for the fJ /2
line has been deduced. This is generally shorter than for the fJ line (3–4ns).
The last part of the thesis, chapter 7, reports on the induced superconducting state
in a strained HgTe layer investigated by point-contact Andreev reﬂection spectroscopy.
For the experiment, a HgTe mesa was fabricated with a small constriction. The diameter
of the oriﬁce was chosen to be smaller than the mean free path estimated from magne-
totransport measurements. Thus one gets a ballistic point-contact which allows energy
resolved spectroscopy. One part of the mesa is covered with a superconductor which
induces superconducting correlations into the surface states of the topological insulator.
This experiment therefore probes a single superconductor normal interface. In contrast to
the Josephson junctions studied previously, the geometry allows the acquisition of energy
resolved information of the induced superconducting state through the measurement
of the differential conductance dI/dV as a function of applied dc bias for various gate
voltages, temperatures and magnetic ﬁelds. An induced superconducting order parame-
ter of about 70µeV was extracted but also signatures of the niobium gap at the expected
value around Δ Nb
≈ 1.1meV have been found. Simulations using the theory developed by
Blonder, Tinkham and Klapwijk and an extended model taking the topological surface
states into account were used to ﬁt the data. The simulations are in agreement with a
small barrier at the topological insulator-induced topological superconductor interface
and a high barrier at the Nb to topological insulator interface. To understand the full con-
ductance curve as a function of applied voltage, a non-equilibrium driven transformation
is suggested. The induced superconductivity is suppressed at a certain bias value due to
local electron population. In accordance with this suppression, the relevant scattering
regions change spatially as a function of applied bias.
To conclude, it is emphasized that the experiments conducted in this thesis found
clear signatures of induced topological superconductivity in HgTe based quantum well
and bulk devices and opens up the avenue to many experiments. It would be interesting
to apply the developed concepts to other topological matter-superconductor hybrid
systems. The direct spectroscopy and manipulation of the Andreev bound states using
circuit quantum electrodynamic techniques should be the next steps for HgTe based
samples. This was already achieved in superconducting atomic break junctions by the
group in Saclay [Science 2015, 349, 1199-1202 (2015)]. Another possible development
would be the on-chip detection of the emitted spectrum as a function of the phase φ
through the junction. In this connection, the topological junction needs to be shunted
by a parallel ancillary junction. Such a setup would allow the current phase relation
I(φ) directly and the lifetime of the bound states to be measured directly. By coupling
this system to a spectrometer, which can be another Josephson junction, the energy
dependence of the Andreev bound states E(φ) could be obtained. The experiments on
the Andreev reﬂection spectroscopy described in this thesis could easily be extended to
two dimensional topological insulators and to more complex geometries, like a phase
bias loop or a tunable barrier at the point-contact. This work might also be useful for
answering the question how and why Majorana bound states can be localized in quantum
spin Hall systems.

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.