Emergence, evolution, and control of multistability in a hybrid topological quantum/classical system

Guanglei Wang, Hongya Xu, Ying-Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a novel class of nonlinear dynamical systems - a hybrid of relativistic quantum and classical systems and demonstrate that multistability is ubiquitous. A representative setting is coupled systems of a topological insulator and an insulating ferromagnet, where the former possesses an insulating bulk with topologically protected, dissipationless, and conducting surface electronic states governed by the relativistic quantum Dirac Hamiltonian and the latter is described by the nonlinear classical evolution of its magnetization vector. The interactions between the two are essentially the spin transfer torque from the topological insulator to the ferromagnet and the local proximity induced exchange coupling in the opposite direction. The hybrid system exhibits a rich variety of nonlinear dynamical phenomena besides multistability such as bifurcations, chaos, and phase synchronization. The degree of multistability can be controlled by an external voltage. In the case of two coexisting states, the system is effectively binary, opening a door to exploitation for developing spintronic memory devices. Because of the dissipationless and spin-momentum locking nature of the surface currents of the topological insulator, little power is needed for generating a significant current, making the system appealing for potential applications in next generation of low power memory devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033601
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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