Aharonov–Bohm interference in topological insulator nanoribbons

Hailin Peng, Keji Lai, Desheng Kong, Stefan Meister, Yulin Chen, Xiao-Liang Qi, Shou-Cheng Zhang, Zhi-Xun Shen, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

632 Scopus citations

Abstract

Topological insulators represent unusual phases of quantum matter with an insulating bulk gap and gapless edges or surface states. The two-dimensional topological insulator phase was predicted in HgTe quantum wells and confirmed by transport measurements. Recently, Bi2 Se3 and related materials have been proposed as three-dimensional topological insulators with a single Dirac cone on the surface, protected by time-reversal symmetry. The topological surface states have been observed by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy experiments. However, few transport measurements in this context have been reported, presumably owing to the predominance of bulk carriers from crystal defects or thermal excitations. Here we show unambiguous transport evidence of topological surface states through periodic quantum interference effects in layered single-crystalline Bi2 Se3 nanoribbons, which have larger surface-to-volume ratios than bulk materials and can therefore manifest surface effects. Pronounced Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in the magnetoresistance clearly demonstrate the coherent propagation of two-dimensional electrons around the perimeter of the nanoribbon surface, as expected from the topological nature of the surface states. The dominance of the primary h/e oscillation, where h is Plancks constant and e is the electron charge, and its temperature dependence demonstrate the robustness of these states. Our results suggest that topological insulator nanoribbons afford promising materials for future spintronic devices at room temperature.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 13 2009
Externally publishedYes

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