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Ambipolar transport in bulk crystals of a topological insulator by gating with ionic liquid  [PDF]
Kouji Segawa,Zhi Ren,Satoshi Sasaki,Tetsuya Tsuda,Susumu Kuwabata,Yoichi Ando
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.86.075306
Abstract: We report that the ionic-liquid gating of bulk single crystals of a topological insulator can control the type of the surface carriers and even results in ambipolar transport. This was made possible by the use of a highly bulk-insulating BiSbTeSe2 system where the chemical potential is located close to both the surface Dirac point and the middle of the bulk band gap. Thanks to the use of ionic liquid, the control of the surface chemical potential by gating was possible on the whole surface of a bulk three-dimensional sample, opening new experimental opportunities for topological insulators. In addition, our data suggest the existence of a nearly reversible electrochemical reaction that causes bulk carrier doping into the crystal during the ionic-liquid gating process.
Transport Properties of Topological Insulators: Band Bending, Bulk Metal-to-Insulator Transition, and Weak Anti-Localization  [PDF]
Matthew Brahlek,Nikesh Koirala,Namrata Bansal,Seongshik Oh
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.ssc.2014.10.021
Abstract: We reanalyze some of the critical transport experiments and provide a coherent understanding of the current generation of topological insulators (TIs). Currently TI transport studies abound with widely varying claims of the surface and bulk states, often times contradicting each other, and a proper understanding of TI transport properties is lacking. According to the simple criteria given by Mott and Ioffe-Regel, even the best TIs are not true insulators in the Mott sense, and at best, are weakly-insulating bad metals. However, band-bending effects contribute significantly to the TI transport properties including Shubnikov de-Haas oscillations, and we show that utilization of this band-bending effect can lead to a Mott insulating bulk state in the thin regime. In addition, by reconsidering previous results on the weak anti-localization (WAL) effect with additional new data, we correct a misunderstanding in the literature and generate a coherent picture of the WAL effect in TIs.
Ultra-low carrier concentration and surface dominant transport in Sb-doped Bi2Se3 topological insulator nanoribbons  [PDF]
Seung Sae Hong,Judy J. Cha,Desheng Kong,Yi Cui
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1771
Abstract: A topological insulator is a new state of matter, possessing gapless spin-locking surface states across the bulk band gap which has created new opportunities from novel electronics to energy conversion. However, the large concentration of bulk residual carriers has been a major challenge for revealing the property of the topological surface state via electron transport measurement. Here we report surface state dominated transport in Sb-doped Bi2Se3 nanoribbons with very low bulk electron concentrations. In the nanoribbons with sub-10nm thickness protected by a ZnO layer, we demonstrate complete control of their top and bottom surfaces near the Dirac point, achieving the lowest carrier concentration of 2x10^11/cm2 reported in three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators. The Sb-doped Bi2Se3 nanostructures provide an attractive materials platform to study fundamental physics in topological insulators, as well as future applications.
Current induced anisotropic magnetoresistance in topological insulator films  [PDF]
Jian Wang,Handong Li,Cui-Zu Chang,Ke He,Joon Sue Lee,Xu-Cun Ma,Nitin Samarth,Qi-Kun Xue,Maohai Xie,M. H. W. Chan
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s12274-012-0260-z
Abstract: Topological insulators are insulating in the bulk but possess spin-momentum locked metallic surface states protected by time-reversal symmetry. The existence of these surface states has been confirmed by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Detecting these surface states by transport measurement, which might at first appear to be the most direct avenue, was shown to be much more challenging than expected. Here, we report a detailed electronic transport study in high quality Bi2Se3 topological insulator thin films. Measurements under in-plane magnetic field, along and perpendicular to the bias current show opposite magnetoresistance. We argue that this contrasting behavior is related to the locking of the spin and current direction providing evidence for helical spin structure of the topological surface states.
Transport in disordered two-dimensional topological insulator  [PDF]
G. M. Gusev,Z. D. Kvon,O. A. Shegai,N. N. Mikhailov,S. A. Dvoretsky,J. C. Portal
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.121302
Abstract: We study experimentally the transport properties of "inverted" semiconductor HgTe-based quantum well, which is related to the two-dimensional topological insulator, in diffusive transport regime. We perform nonlocal electrical measurements in the absence of the magnetic field and observe large signal due to the edge states. It demonstrates, that the edge states can propagate over long distance 1 mm, and, therefore, there is no difference between local and non local electrical measurements in topological insulator. In the presence of the in-plane magnetic field we find strong decrease of the local resistance and complete suppression of the nonlocal resistance. We attribute this observation to the transition between topological insulator and bulk metal induced by the in-plane magnetic field.
Surface-to-bulk scattering in topological insulator films  [PDF]
Kush Saha,Ion Garate
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.90.245418
Abstract: We present a quantitative microscopic theory of the disorder- and phonon-induced coupling between surface and bulk states in topological insulator (TI) films. We find a simple structure for the surface-to-bulk scattering matrix elements and confirm the importance of bulk-surface coupling in transport and photoemission experiments, assessing its dependence on temperature, carrier density, film thickness and particle-hole asymmetry.
Disentangling the magnetoelectric and thermoelectric transport in topological insulator thin films  [PDF]
Jinsong Zhang,Xiao Feng,Yong Xu,Minghua Guo,Zuocheng Zhang,Yunbo Ou,Yang Feng,Kang Li,Haijun Zhang,Lili Wang,Xi Chen,Zhongxue Gan,Shou-Cheng Zhang,Ke He,Xucun Ma,Qi-Kun Xue,Yayu Wang
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.075431
Abstract: We report transport studies on (Bi,Sb)2Te3 topological insulator thin films with tunable electronic band structure. We find a doping and temperature regime in which the Hall coefficient is negative indicative of electron-type carriers, whereas the Seebeck coefficient is positive indicative of hole-type carriers. This sign anomaly is due to the distinct transport behaviors of the bulk and surface states: the surface Dirac fermions dominate magnetoelectric transport while the thermoelectric effect is mainly determined by the bulk states. These findings may inspire new ideas for designing topological insulator-based high efficiency thermoelectric devices.
Weak antilocalization in (111) thin films of a topological crystalline insulator SnTe  [PDF]
Ryota Akiyama,Kazuki Fujisawa,Ryutaro Sakurai,Shinji Kuroda
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/568/5/052001
Abstract: We grew single-crystal thin films of a topological crystalline insulator (TCI) SnTe with a smooth surface at the atomic scale by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). In the magnetoresistance (MR) measurement, we observed both positive and negative components near zero magnetic field at lowest temperatures of 2 - 3 K, while we observed only a negative MR at elevated temperatures of 6 - 10 K. The positive MR is attributed to the weak antilocalization (WAL) in the transport through the topological surface state (SS), demonstrating $\pi$ berry phase which is essential to the topological SS, while the negative MR to the weak localization (WL) in the transport through the bulk state (two-dimensional bulk subbbands). The absolute value of the prefactor $ \alpha $ deduced from the fitting of the observed positive MR to the Hikami-Larkin-Nagaoka equation was much smaller than expected from the number of transport channel of the SS, suggesting the coupling of the SS to the bulk state.
Quantum impurity in the bulk of topological insulator  [PDF]
Hai-Feng Lu,Hai-Zhou Lu,Shun-Qing Shen,Tai-Kai Ng
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.195122
Abstract: We investigate physical properties of an Anderson impurity embedded in the bulk of a topological insulator. The slave-boson mean-field approximation is used to account for the strong electron correlation at the impurity. Different from the results of a quantum impurity on the surface of a topological insulator, we find for the band-inverted case, a Kondo resonant peak and in-gap bound states can be produced simultaneously. However, only one type of them appears for the normal case. It is shown that the mixed-valence regime is much broader in the band-inverted case, while it shrinks to a very narrow regime in the normal case. Furthermore, a self-screening of the Kondo effect may appear when the interaction between the bound-state spin and impurity spin is taken into account.
Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state  [PDF]
M. Veldhorst,M. Snelder,M. Hoek,T. Gang,X. L. Wang,V. K. Guduru,U. Zeitler,W. G. v. d. Wiel,A. A. Golubov,H. Hilgenkamp,A. Brinkman
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1038/nmat3255
Abstract: Topological insulators are characterized by an insulating bulk with a finite band gap and conducting edge or surface states, where charge carriers are protected against backscattering. These states give rise to the quantum spin Hall effect without an external magnetic field, where electrons with opposite spins have opposite momentum at a given edge. The surface energy spectrum of a threedimensional topological insulator is made up by an odd number of Dirac cones with the spin locked to the momentum. The long-sought yet elusive Majorana fermion is predicted to arise from a combination of a superconductor and a topological insulator. An essential step in the hunt for this emergent particle is the unequivocal observation of supercurrent in a topological phase. Here, we present the first measurement of a Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator. Direct evidence for Josephson supercurrents in superconductor (Nb) - topological insulator (Bi2Te3) - superconductor e-beam fabricated junctions is provided by the observation of clear Shapiro steps under microwave irradiation, and a Fraunhofer-type dependence of the critical current on magnetic field. The dependence of the critical current on temperature and length shows that the junctions are in the ballistic limit. Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in magnetic fields up to 30 T reveal a topologically non-trivial two-dimensional surface state. We argue that the ballistic Josephson current is hosted by this surface state despite the fact that the normal state transport is dominated by diffusive bulk conductivity. The lateral Nb-Bi2Te3-Nb junctions hence provide prospects for the realization of devices supporting Majorana fermions.
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