We uncover an unexpected family of in-gap chiral edge states in noninverted spin-1 Dirac quantum dots. The system represents a topologically trivial confinement configuration where such edge states are not expected according to the conventional wisdom. In particular, for a massive type of confining potential, two distinct situations can arise: with or without mass sign change, corresponding to a quantum dot with or without band inversion, respectively. The former case is conventional, where topologically protected chiral edge modes can arise in the gap. For the latter, contrary to the belief that there should be no one-way current-carrying edge channels, we find the surprising emergence of such edge states and the spin-1 analog of Majorana modes. These states are strikingly robust and immune to backscattering. In the presence of a magnetic field, the edge states result in peculiar Fock-Darwin states originated from Landau-level confinement. The unexpected phenomenon is also validated in systems with bulk-topology regularization through (1) a properly regularized continuum model and (2) an experimentally accessible tight-binding dice lattice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013062
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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