When and Where: 17/11/2023 (FRI) @ 11 A in VMCC 22
Who: Prof. Micheal S Fuhrer: Monash University, Australia
Title:: Topological Materials for Low-energy Electronics
The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics recognized the discovery that phases of electronic matter can differ in the topology of their band structures. This has important implications: Not every insulator (material where the chemical potential is located in a bandgap) is the same, and a boundary which separates insulators of distinct topology must be accompanied by a closing of the bandgap and a conducting boundary mode. These conducting boundaries give rise to new properties of materials, such as the quantum Hall effect in which current is carried without dissipation and the Hall conductance is quantized in multiples of fundamental constants h/e2.
Here, I will discuss the potential application of topological material to electronics. The impending end of Moore’s Law has prompted a search for a new computing technology with lower energy consumed per operation than silicon CMOS. Topological phases of matter offer a possible solution: a “topological transistor” in which an electric field tunes a material from a conventional insulator “off” state to a topological insulator “on” state, in which topologically protected edge modes carry dissipationless current. Due to the combined effects of Rashba spin-orbit interaction and electric field control of the bandgap, the topological transistor may switch at lower voltage, overcoming the conventional limit set by thermal activation in a MOSFET, termed “Boltzmann’s tyranny”.
Michael S. Fuhrer received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, and Ph. D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998. After a postdoctoral appointment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Fuhrer joined the faculty at the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in 2000, and from 2009-2012 was Professor, and Director of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials. In 2012 Fuhrer was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship, and moved to Monash University as Professor of Physics in 2013. Fuhrer founded the Monash Centre for Atomically Thin Materials, and directs the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies. Fuhrer’s current research interests lie in understanding the electronic properties of atomically-thin materials (such as graphene and transition-metal chalcogenides), and topological materials. Fuhrer is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Australian Academy of Science.