Floquet spectrum and transport through an irradiated graphene ribbon

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Nov 18;107(21):216601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.216601. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Graphene subject to a spatially uniform, circularly polarized electric field supports a Floquet spectrum with properties akin to those of a topological insulator. The transport properties of this system, however, are complicated by the nonequilibrium occupations of the Floquet states. We address this by considering transport in a two-terminal ribbon geometry for which the leads have well-defined chemical potentials, with an irradiated central scattering region. We demonstrate the presence of edge states, which for infinite mass boundary conditions may be associated with only one of the two valleys. At low frequencies, the bulk dc conductivity near zero energy is shown to be dominated by a series of states with very narrow anticrossings, leading to superdiffusive behavior. For very long ribbons, a ballistic regime emerges in which edge state transport dominates.