Helical Modes in Carbon Nanotubes Generated by Strong Electric Fields

Jelena Klinovaja*, Manuel J. Schmidt, Bernd Braunecker, Daniel Loss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Helical modes, conducting opposite spins in opposite directions, are shown to exist in metallic armchair nanotubes in an all-electric setup. This is a consequence of the interplay between spin-orbit interaction and strong electric fields. The helical regime can also be obtained in chiral metallic nanotubes by applying an additional magnetic field. In particular, it is possible to obtain helical modes at one of the two Dirac points only, while the other one remains gapped. Starting from a tight-binding model we derive the effective low-energy Hamiltonian and the resulting spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156809
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2011


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