Quantum interference and Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in topological insulators
Topological insulators have an insulating bulk but a metallic surface. In the simplest case, the surface electronic structure of a 3D topological insulator is described by a single 2D Dirac cone. A single 2D Dirac fermion cannot be realized in an isolated 2D system with time-reversal symmetry, but rather owes its existence to the topological properties of the 3D bulk wavefunctions. The transport properties of such a surface state are of considerable current interest; they have some similarities with graphene, which also realizes Dirac fermions, but have several unique features in their response to magnetic fields. In this review we give an overview of some of the main quantum transport properties of topological insulator surfaces. We focus on the efforts to use quantum interference phenomena, such as weak anti-localization and the Aharonov-Bohm effect, to verify in a transport experiment the Dirac nature of the surface state and its defining properties. In addition to explaining the basic ideas and predictions of the theory, we provide a survey of recent experimental work.