The Talbot Effect for two-dimensional massless Dirac fermions

Sci Rep. 2016 May 25:6:26698. doi: 10.1038/srep26698.


A monochromatic beam of wavelength λ transmitted through a periodic one-dimensional diffraction grating with lattice constant d will be spatially refocused at distances from the grating that are integer multiples of . This self-refocusing phenomena, commonly referred to as the Talbot effect, has been experimentally demonstrated in a variety of systems ranging from optical to matter waves. Theoretical predictions suggest that the Talbot effect should exist in the case of relativistic Dirac fermions with nonzero mass. However, the Talbot effect for massless Dirac fermions (mDfs), such as those found in monolayer graphene or in topological insulator surfaces, has not been previously investigated. In this work, the theory of the Talbot effect for two-dimensional mDfs is presented. It is shown that the Talbot effect for mDfs exists and that the probability density of the transmitted mDfs waves through a periodic one-dimensional array of localized scatterers is also refocused at integer multiples of zT. However, due to the spinor nature of the mDfs, there are additional phase-shifts and amplitude modulations in the probability density that are most pronounced for waves at non-normal incidence to the scattering array.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.