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The quantum spin Hall effect was first proposed by Kane and Mele in 2005. In this video, LAURENS MOLENKAMP outlines how his team’s focus on mercury telluride has provided notable insights into this phenomenon. Conducting transport experiments on special semiconductors grown using a molecular beam epitaxy machine, Molenkamp’s findings include the identification of the quantum Hall effect in a three-dimensional topological insulator and the potential for topological superconductivity. With future applications in fields including quantum metrology and topological quantum computing, Molenkamp’s research continues to extend our understanding of the physical makeup of our universe.


Laurens W. Molenkamp is Chair of Experimental Physics III and Head of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) at Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg. He is also a fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids. Molenkamp’s research focuses on quantum transport in nanostructures, the optical spectroscopy of semiconductors and semiconductor spintronics. Editor of Physical Review B, Molenkamp has been recognized with numerous awards including the Stern-Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society (2017) and the American Physical Society’s Oliver E. Buckley Prize (2012).


University of Würzburg (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)

"True to its motto ‘Science for Society’, the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) - founded 1402 - is committed to advancing research in a wide range of disciplines. Academic rankings confirm the JMU’s place among the world’s high-performing research universities. Currently, the JMU has about 29.000 students who are enrolled in ten faculties. Its academic and administrative staff comprises more than 4.000 people. Approximately 420 professors are active in research and teaching at the university and the university hospital.
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Original publication

Precision Measurement of the Quantized Anomalous Hall Resistance at Zero Magnetic Field

Molenkamp L.W., Götz Martin, Fijalkowski Kajetan M., Pesel Eckart, Hartl Matthias, Schreyeck Steffen, Winnerlein Martin, Grauer Stefan, Scherer Hansjörg, Brunner Karl, Gould Charles and Ahlers F.J.
Applied Physics Letters
Published in 2018

Josephson Radiation from Gapless Andreev Bound States in HgTe-based Topological Junctions

others, Brüne Christoph, Deacon Russell S., Wiedenmann Jonas, Bocquillon Erwann, Domínguez Fernando, Klapwijk Teunis M., Leubner Philipp, Hankiewicz Ewelina M., Tarucha Seigo and Ishibashi Koji
Physical Review X
Published in 2017

Quantum Hall Effect from the Topological Surface States of Strained Bulk HgTe

Brüne C., Liu C.X., Novik E.G., Hankiewicz E.M., Buhmann H., Chen Y.L., Qi X.L., Shen Z.X., Zhang S.C. and Molenkamp L.W.
Physical Review Letters
Published in 2011

Nonlocal Transport in the Quantum Spin Hall State

Qi Xiao-Liang, Zhang Shou-Cheng, Roth Andreas, Brüne Christoph, Buhmann Hartmut, Molenkamp Laurens W. and Maciejko Joseph
Published in 2009

Quantum Spin Hall Insulator State in HgTe Quantum Wells

Qi Xiao-Liang, Zhang Shou-Cheng, Roth Andreas, Brüne Christoph, Buhmann Hartmut, Molenkamp Laurens W., König Markus and Wiedmann Steffen
Published in 2007