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Enhanced surface state protection and band gap in the topological insulator PbBi4Te4S3

AuthorsSumida, Kazuki; Natsumeda, T.; Miyamoto, Koji; Silkin, Igor V.; Kuroda, K.; Shirai, K.; Zhu, Siyuan; Taguchi, K.; Arita, M.; Fujii, Jun; Varykhalov, A. Yu.; Rader, O.; Golyashov, V. A.; Kokh, Konstantin A.; Tereshchenko, Oleg E.; Chulkov, Eugene V. CSIC ORCID; Okuda, Taichi; Kimura, A.
Issue Date2018
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
CitationPhysical Review Materials 2(10): 104201 (2018)
AbstractTopological insulators (TIs) with an inverted bulk band and a strong spin-orbit coupling exhibit gapless topological surface states (TSSs) protected by time-reversal symmetry. Helical spin textures driven by spin-momentum locking offer the opportunity to generate spin-polarized currents and therefore TIs are expected to be used for future spintronic applications. For practical applications TIs are urgently required that are operable at room temperature due to a wide bulk band gap as well as a distinct topological surface state that is robust to atmospheric exposure. Here we show two distinguishable TSSs originating from different terminations on PbBi4Te4S3 by using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We find that one TSS is persistently observed, while the other becomes invisible upon intentional oxygen exposure. The result signifies the presence of a protected TSS buried under the topmost surface. Our finding paves the way for realizing a topological spintronics device under atmospheric conditions.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.104201
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