Observation of chiral phonons

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 579-582
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2711

A phonon merry-go-round

Chirality is associated with the breaking of symmetry, often described as left- or right-handed behavior. Such asymmetry can be seen, for example, in the electronic responses of particular materials or the reactions between particular chemical species. Zhu et al. observed a chiral phonon mode in a monolayer of the transition metal dichalcogenide WSe2, detected spectroscopically as the circular dichroism of the phonon-assisted transition of holes. Phonon chirality could be used to control the electron-phonon coupling and/or the phonon-driven topological states of solids.

Science, this issue p. 579