Scientific article
Open access

Determining spin-orbit coupling in graphene by quasiparticle interference imaging

Published inNature communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 3771
Publication date2023-06-24
First online date2023-06-24

Inducing and controlling spin-orbit coupling (SOC) in graphene is key to create topological states of matter, and for the realization of spintronic devices. Placing graphene onto a transition metal dichalcogenide is currently the most successful strategy to achieve this goal, but there is no consensus as to the nature and the magnitude of the induced SOC. Here, we show that the presence of backscattering in graphene-on-WSe 2 heterostructures can be used to probe SOC and to determine its strength quantitatively, by imaging quasiparticle interference with a scanning tunneling microscope. A detailed theoretical analysis of the Fourier transform of quasiparticle interference images reveals that the induced SOC consists of a valley-Zeeman ( λ vZ ≈ 2 meV) and a Rashba ( λ R ≈ 15 meV) term, one order of magnitude larger than what theory predicts, but in excellent agreement with earlier transport experiments. The validity of our analysis is confirmed by measurements on a 30 degree twist angle heterostructure that exhibits no backscattering, as expected from symmetry considerations. Our results demonstrate a viable strategy to determine SOC quantitatively by imaging quasiparticle interference.

Citation (ISO format)
SUN, Lihuan et al. Determining spin-orbit coupling in graphene by quasiparticle interference imaging. In: Nature communications, 2023, vol. 14, n° 1, p. 3771. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39453-x
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2041-1723

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