Thursday, July 11, 2013

1307.2777 (Sergey Smirnov)

Cherenkov sound on a surface of a topological insulator    [PDF]

Sergey Smirnov
Topological insulators are currently of considerable interest due to peculiar electronic properties originating from helical states on their surfaces. Here we demonstrate that the sound excited by helical particles on surfaces of topological insulators has several exotic properties fundamentally different from sound propagating in non-helical systems. Specifically, the sound may have strictly forward propagation forbidden in conventional two-dimensional systems. Its dependence on the anisotropy of the surface-states is of distinguished behavior which may be used as an alternative experimental tool to measure the anisotropy strength. Fascinating from the fundamental point of view backward, or anomalous, Cherenkov sound is excited above the critical angle $\pi/2$ when the anisotropy exceeds a critical value. Strikingly, at strong anisotropy the sound localizes into a few forward and backward beams propagating along specific directions.
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