Quantum anomalous Hall edge channels survive up to the Curie temperature

K. M. Fijalkowski, N. Liu, P. Mandal, S. Schreyeck, K. Brunner, C. Gould, and L. W. Molenkamp


Achieving metrological precision of quantum anomalous Hall resistance quantization at zero magnetic field so far remains limited to temperatures of the order of 20 mK, while the Curie temperature in the involved material is as high as 20 K. The reason for this discrepancy remains one of the biggest open questions surrounding the effect, and is the focus of this article. Here we show, through a careful analysis of the non-local voltages on a multi-terminal Corbino geometry, that the chiral edge channels continue to exist without applied magnetic field up to the Curie temperature of bulk ferromagnetism of the magnetic topological insulator, and that thermally activated bulk conductance is responsible for this quantization breakdown. Our results offer important insights on the nature of the topological protection of these edge channels, provide an encouraging sign for potential applications, and establish the multi-terminal Corbino geometry as a powerful tool for the study of edge channel transport in topological materials.

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