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Phonons in complex twisted crystals: Angular momenta, interactions, and topology...

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Physical Review B
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Phonons and their interactions are critically important for a variety of energy-relevant applications ranging from low thermal resistance substrates to thermal barrier coatings. Fundamental insights into the nature of phonons and allowed interactions are governed by the underlying symmetries of the crystal lattice. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive and detailed description of lattice dynamics derived from twist symmetries of chiral and achiral crystals—twist dynamics. Phonon bands naturally carry quantized crystal angular momentum derived from rotational phases, which give insights into the nature of band crossings and avoided crossings, selection rules for phonon interactions, and topological band crossing behaviors. Twist dynamics is demonstrated for a variety of materials covering a range of space groups, symmetry operations, twist axis orientations, and constituent elements. Furthermore, twist symmetry offers insights into peculiar features observed in scattering measurements. In this context, we present inelastic neutron scattering measurements for rutile TiO2 and explain them using twist dynamics.