Electrically switchable Berry curvature dipole in the monolayer topological insulator WTe 2

Su Yang Xu, Qiong Ma, Huitao Shen, Valla Fatemi, Sanfeng Wu, Tay Rong Chang, Guoqing Chang, Andrés M.Mier Valdivia, Ching Kit Chan, Quinn D. Gibson, Jiadong Zhou, Zheng Liu, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Hsin Lin, Robert J. Cava, Liang Fu, Nuh Gedik, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

257 Scopus citations


Recent experimental evidence for the quantum spin Hall (QSH) state in monolayer WTe 2 has linked the fields of two-dimensional materials and topological physics 1–7 . This two-dimensional topological crystal also displays unconventional spin–torque 8 and gate-tunable superconductivity 7 . Whereas the realization of the QSH has demonstrated the nontrivial topology of the electron wavefunctions of monolayer WTe 2 , the geometrical properties of the wavefunction, such as the Berry curvature 9 , remain unstudied. Here we utilize mid-infrared optoelectronic microscopy to investigate the Berry curvature in monolayer WTe 2 . By optically exciting electrons across the inverted QSH gap, we observe an in-plane circular photogalvanic current even under normal incidence. The application of an out-of-plane displacement field allows further control of the direction and magnitude of the photocurrent. The observed photocurrent reveals a Berry curvature dipole that arises from the nontrivial wavefunctions near the inverted gap edge. The Berry curvature dipole and strong electric field effect are enabled by the inverted band structure and tilted crystal lattice of monolayer WTe 2 . Such an electrically switchable Berry curvature dipole may facilitate the observation of a wide range of quantum geometrical phenomena such as the quantum nonlinear Hall 10,11 , orbital-Edelstein 12 and chiral polaritonic effects 13,14 .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-906
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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