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Universal Conductance Fluctuation in Two-Dimensional Topological Insulators

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Despite considerable interest in two-dimensional (2D) topological insulators (TIs), a fundamental question still remains open how mesoscopic conductance fluctuations in 2D TIs are affected by spin-orbit interaction (SOI). Here, we investigate the effect of SOI on the universal conductance fluctuation (UCF) in disordered 2D TIs. Although 2D TI exhibits UCF like any metallic systems, the amplitude of these fluctuations is distinguished from that of conventional spin-orbit coupled 2D materials. Especially, in 2D systems with mirror symmetry, spin-flip scattering is forbidden even in the presence of strong intrinsic SOI, hence increasing the amplitude of the UCF by a factor of √2 compared with extrinsic SOI that breaks mirror symmetry. We propose an easy way to experimentally observe the existence of such spin-flip scattering in 2D materials. Our findings provide a key to understanding the emergence of a new universal behavior in 2D TIs.

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