Magnetic moments in a helical edge can make weak correlations seem strong

Jukka I. Väyrynen, Florian Geissler, Leonid I. Glazman
2016 Physical review B  
We study the effect of localized magnetic moments on the conductance of a helical edge. Interaction with a local moment is an effective backscattering mechanism for the edge electrons. We evaluate the resulting differential conductance as a function of temperature $T$ and applied bias $V$ for any value of $V/T$. Backscattering off magnetic moments, combined with the weak repulsion between the edge electrons results in a power-law temperature and voltage dependence of the conductance; the
more » ... uctance; the corresponding small positive exponent is indicative of insulating behavior. Local moments may naturally appear due to charge disorder in a narrow-gap semiconductor. Our results provide an alternative interpretation of the recent experiment by Li et al. \cite{Li15} where a power-law suppression of the conductance was attributed to strong electron repulsion within the edge, with the value of Luttinger liquid parameter $K$ fine-tuned close to $1/4$.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.93.241301 fatcat:wgbxwbtfofgerjqztxbgctznuq