Quantum interference effects in topological nanowires in a longitudinal magnetic field

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We study the magnetoconductance of topological insulator nanowires in a longitudinal magnetic field, including Aharonov-Bohm, Altshuler-Aronov-Spivak, perfectly conducting channel, and universal conductance fluctuation effects. Our focus is on predicting experimental behavior in single wires in the quantum limit where temperature is reduced to zero. We show that changing the Fermi energy
EF can tune a wire from from ballistic to diffusive conduction and to localization. In both ballistic and diffusive single wires we find both Aharonov-Bohm and Altshuler-Aronov-Spivak oscillations with similar strengths, accompanied by quite strong universal conductance fluctuations, all with amplitudes between
0.3G0 and 1G0. This contrasts strongly with the average behavior of many wires, which shows Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in the ballistic regime and Altshuler-Aronov-Spivak oscillations in the diffusive regime, with both oscillations substantially larger than the conductance fluctuations. In single wires the ballistic and diffusive regimes can be distinguished by varying EF and studying the sign of the Aharonov-Bohm signal, which depends periodically on EF in ballistic wires and randomly on EF in diffusive wires. We also show that in long wires the perfectly conducting channel is visible at a wide range of energies within the bulk gap. We present typical conductance profiles at several wire lengths, showing that conductance fluctuations can dominate the average signal. Similar behavior will be found in carbon nanotubes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205424
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2016

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