Research ArticleCONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS

Topological charge transport by mobile dielectric-ferroelectric domain walls

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Science Advances  15 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaax8720
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax8720

Abstract

The concept of topology has been widely applied in condensed matter physics, leading to the identification of peculiar electronic states on three-dimensional (3D) surfaces or 2D lines separating topologically distinctive regions. In the systems explored so far, the topological boundaries are built-in walls; thus, their motional degrees of freedom, which potentially bring about new paradigms, have been experimentally inaccessible. Here, working with a quasi-1D organic material with a charge-transfer instability, we show that mobile neutral-ionic (dielectric-ferroelectric) domain boundaries with topological charges carry strongly 1D-confined and anomalously large electrical conduction with an energy gap much smaller than the one-particle excitation gap. This consequence is further supported by nuclear magnetic resonance detection of spin solitons, which are required for steady current of topological charges. The present observation of topological charge transport may open a new channel for broad charge transport–related phenomena such as thermoelectric effects.

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