Exotic topological insulator states and topological phase transitions in Sb2Se3-Bi2Se3 heterostructures

Qianfan Zhang, Zhiyong Zhang, Zhiyong Zhu, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Topological insulator is a new state of matter attracting tremendous interest due to its gapless linear dispersion and spin momentum locking topological states located near the surface. Heterostructures, which have traditionally been powerful in controlling the electronic properties of semiconductor devices, are interesting for topological insulators. Here, we studied the spatial distribution of the topological state in Sb 2Se 3-Bi 2Se 3 heterostructures by first-principle simulation and discovered that an exotic topological state exists. Surprisingly, the state migrates from the nontrivial Bi 2Se 3 into the trivial Sb 2Se 3 region and spreads across the entire Sb 2Se 3 slab, extending beyond the concept of "surface" state while preserving all of the topological surface state characteristics. This unusual topological state arises from the coupling between different materials and the modification of electronic structure near Fermi energy. Our study demonstrates that heterostructures can open up opportunities for controlling the real-space distribution of the topological state and inducing quantum phase transitions between topologically trivial and nontrivial states. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2345-2352
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 27 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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