Gyrotropic effects in trigonal tellurium studied from first principles

Stepan S. Tsirkin, Pablo Aguado Puente, Ivo Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


We present a combined ab initio study of several gyrotropic effects in p-doped trigonal tellurium (effects that reverse direction with the handedness of the spiral chains in the atomic structure). The key ingredients in our study are the k-space Berry curvature and intrinsic orbital magnetic moment imparted on the Bloch states by the chirality of the crystal structure. We show that the observed sign reversal with temperature of the circular photogalvanic effect can be explained by the presence of Weyl points near the bottom of the conduction band acting as sources and sinks of Berry curvature. The passage of a current along the trigonal axis induces a rather small parallel magnetization, which can nevertheless be detected by optical means (Faraday rotation of transmitted light) due to the high transparency of the sample. In agreement with experiment, we find that when infrared light propagates antiparallel to the current at low doping the current-induced optical rotation enhances the natural optical rotation. According to our calculations the plane of polarization rotates in the opposite sense to the bonded atoms in the spiral chains, in agreement with a recent experiment that contradicts earlier reports.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035158
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Gyrotropic effects in trigonal tellurium studied from first principles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this