Absence of localization in disordered two-dimensional electron gas at weak magnetic field and strong spin-orbit coupling

Ying Su, C. Wang, Y. Avishai, Yigal Meir, X. R. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The one-parameter scaling theory of localization predicts that all states in a disordered two-dimensional system with broken time reversal symmetry are localized even in the presence of strong spin-orbit coupling. While at constant strong magnetic fields this paradigm fails (recall the quantum Hall effect), it is believed to hold at weak magnetic fields. Here we explore the nature of quantum states at weak magnetic field and strongly fluctuating spin-orbit coupling, employing highly accurate numerical procedure based on level spacing distribution and transfer matrix technique combined with one parameter finite-size scaling hypothesis. Remarkably, the metallic phase, (known to exist at zero magnetic field), persists also at finite (albeit weak) magnetic fields, and eventually crosses over into a critical phase, which has already been confirmed at high magnetic fields. A schematic phase diagram drawn in the energy-magnetic field plane elucidates the occurrence of localized, metallic and critical phases. In addition, it is shown that nearest-level statistics is determined solely by the symmetry parameter β and follows the Wigner surmise irrespective of whether states are metallic or critical.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33304
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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