Laurens W. Molenkamp What Is the Quantum Spin Hall Effect and Why Is It Important?

Laurens W. Molenkamp is Chair of Experimental Physics III and Head of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) at Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg. He is also a fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids. Molenkamp’s research focuses on quantum transport in nanostructures, the optical spectroscopy of semiconductors and semiconductor spintronics. Editor of Physical Review B, Molenkamp has been recognized with numerous awards including the Stern-Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society (2017) and the American Physical Society’s Oliver E. Buckley Prize (2012).

Area of Research

Quantum Transport in Nanostructures, Semiconductor Spintronics, Optical Spectroscopy of Semiconductors

since 1999

Full Professor and Head of MBE Unit

University of Würzburg (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)

since 2018

Max Planck Fellow

Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids

1994-1999

AssociateProfessor

RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen)

1989-1994

Senior Scientist and Project Leader

Philips Research Laboratories

1985-1989

ResearchScientist

Philips Research Laboratories

1980-1985

Dr. (Physical Chemistry)

University of Groningen

1974-1980

Studies in Physical Chemistry

University of Groningen

- Lead Editor, Physical Review B (since 2012)

- Editor-in-chief, Semiconductor Science and Technology (2001-2011)

- Divisional Associate Editor, Physical Review Letters (2001-2007)

- Editor, EPJ Applied Physics (2004-2015)

- Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (since 2013)

- Panel Member and Senior Referee for the European Commission, DFG (Germany), EPSRC (UK), ANR (France), NWO/FOM, STW (Netherlands), MOE (Singapore)

- Spinoza Award Committee (NWO) (2015-2017)

- Panel Chair ERC-AG Condensed Matter Physics Panel (2009-2015)

Prizes

- European Research Council ERC-AG Award (2017)

- King Faisal International Prize for Science (2017)

- Stern-Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society DPG (2017)

- Leibniz Award of the German Research Foundation DFG (2014)

- Milner foundation Frontier Physics Prize (2013)

- American Physical Society Oliver E. Buckley Prize (2012)

- European Research Council ERC- AG Award (2011)

- European Physical Society Europhysics Condensed Matter Physics Prize (2010)

Fellowships

- Donders Guest Professor (Utrecht University) (2015)

- Fellow of the American Physical Society (2009)

- Honorary Professor at the Institute of Semiconductors of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2009)

- Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2004)

The quantum spin Hall effect was first proposed by Kane and Mele in 2005. In this video, LAURENS MOLENKAMP outlines how his team’s focus on mercury telluride has provided notable insights into this phenomenon. Conducting transport experiments on special semiconductors grown using a molecular beam epitaxy machine, Molenkamp’s findings include the identification of the quantum Hall effect in a three dimensional topological insulator and the potential for topological superconductivity. With future applications in fields including quantum metrology andtopological quantum computing, Molenkamp’s research continues to extend our understanding of the physical makeup of our universe.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10738

Precision Measurement of the Quantized Anomalous Hall Resistance at Zero Magnetic Field

  • Martin Götz, Kajetan M. Fijalkowski, Eckart Pesel, Matthias Hartl, Steffen Schreyeck, Martin Winnerlein, Stefan Grauer, Hansjörg Scherer, Karl Brunner, Charles Gould, F.J. Ahlers and L.W. Molenkamp
  • Applied Physics Letters
  • Published in 2018
Martin Götz, Kajetan M. Fijalkowski, Eckart Pesel, Matthias Hartl, Steffen Schreyeck, Martin Winnerlein, Stefan Grauer, Hansjörg Scherer, Karl Brunner, Charles Gould, F.J. Ahlers and L.W. Molenkamp. "Precision Measurement of the Quantized Anomalous Hall Resistance at Zero Magnetic Field." Applied Physics Letters 112 (2018): 072102. doi:10.1063/1.5009718.

Josephson Radiation from Gapless Andreev Bound States in HgTe-based Topological Junctions

  • Russell S. Deacon, Jonas Wiedenmann, Erwann Bocquillon, Fernando Domínguez, Teunis M. Klapwijk, Philipp Leubner, Christoph Brüne, Ewelina M. Hankiewicz, Seigo Tarucha and Koji Ishibashi
  • Physical Review X
  • Published in 2017
Russell S. Deacon, Jonas Wiedenmann, Erwann Bocquillon, Fernando Domínguez, Teunis M. Klapwijk, Philipp Leubner, Christoph Brüne, Ewelina M. Hankiewicz, Seigo Tarucha and Koji Ishibashi. "Josephson Radiation from Gapless Andreev Bound States in HgTe-based Topological Junctions." Physical Review X 7 (2017): 021011. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.7.021011.

Quantum Hall Effect from the Topological Surface States of Strained Bulk HgTe

  • C. Brüne, C.X. Liu, E.G. Novik, E.M. Hankiewicz, H. Buhmann, Y.L. Chen, X.L. Qi, Z.X. Shen, S.C. Zhang and L.W. Molenkamp
  • Physical Review Letters
  • Published in 2011
C. Brüne, C.X. Liu, E.G. Novik, E.M. Hankiewicz, H. Buhmann, Y.L. Chen, X.L. Qi, Z.X. Shen, S.C. Zhang and L.W. Molenkamp. "Quantum Hall Effect from the Topological Surface States of Strained Bulk HgTe." Physical Review Letters 106 (2011): 126803. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.126803.

Nonlocal Transport in the Quantum Spin Hall State

  • Andreas Roth, Christoph Brüne, Hartmut Buhmann, Laurens W. Molenkamp, Joseph Maciejko, Xiao-Liang Qi and Shou-Cheng Zhang
  • Science
  • Published in 2009
Andreas Roth, Christoph Brüne, Hartmut Buhmann, Laurens W. Molenkamp, Joseph Maciejko, Xiao-Liang Qi and Shou-Cheng Zhang. "Nonlocal Transport in the Quantum Spin Hall State." Science 325 (2009): 294–297. doi:10.1126/science.1174736.

Quantum Spin Hall Insulator State in HgTe Quantum Wells

  • Markus König, Steffen Wiedmann, Christoph Brüne, Andreas Roth, Hartmut Buhmann, Laurens W. Molenkamp, Xiao-Liang Qi and Shou-Cheng Zhang
  • Science
  • Published in 2007
Markus König, Steffen Wiedmann, Christoph Brüne, Andreas Roth, Hartmut Buhmann, Laurens W. Molenkamp, Xiao-Liang Qi and Shou-Cheng Zhang. "Quantum Spin Hall Insulator State in HgTe Quantum Wells." Science 318 (2007): 766–770. doi:10.1126/science.1148047.