Chiral phonons at high-symmetry points in monolayer hexagonal lattices

Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Sep 11;115(11):115502. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.115502. Epub 2015 Sep 11.


In monolayer hexagonal lattices, the intravalley and intervalley scattering of electrons can involve chiral phonons at Brillouin-zone center and corners, respectively. At these high-symmetry points, there is a threefold rotational symmetry endowing phonon eigenmodes with a quantized pseudoangular momentum, which includes orbital and spin parts. Conservation of pseudoangular momentum yields selection rules for intravalley and intervalley scattering of electrons by phonons. Concrete predictions of helicity-resolved optical phenomena are made on monolayer molybdenum disulfide. The chiral phonons at Brillouin-zone corners excited by polarized photons can be detected by a valley phonon Hall effect. The chiral phonons, together with phonon circular polarization, phonon pseudoangular momentum, selection rules, and valley phonon Hall effect will extend the basis for valley-based electronics and phononics applications in the future.