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Title: Investigations of surface structural, dynamical, and magnetic properties of systems exhibiting multiferroicity, and topological phases by helium scattering spectroscopies

We propose to investigate the surface structural, dynamics and magnetic properties of the novel class of topological insulator crystals, as well as crystals that exhibit multiferroicity, magnetoelectricity and thermoelectricity. Topological insulators (TIs) are a new class of insulators in which a bulk gap for electronic excitations is generated because of the strong spin-orbit coupling inherent to these systems. These materials are distinguished from ordinary insulators by the presence of gapless metallic surface states, resembling chiral edge modes in quantum Hall systems, but with unconventional spin textures. These exotic metallic states are formed by topological conditions that also render the electrons travelling on such surfaces insensitive to scattering by impurities. The electronic quasi-particles populating the topological surface state are Dirac fermions; they have a linear dispersion and thus are massless just like photons. We propose to investigate the interaction of these massless Dirac fermions with the massive lattice in the newly discovered crystals, Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3. We shall use inelastic helium beam scattering from surfaces to search for related signatures in surface phonon dispersions mappings that cover the entire surface Brillouin zone of these materials. Our recent investigations of the (001) surface of the multiferroic crystals (Li/Na)Cu2O2 revealed an anomalous surface structural behavior where surface Cu$$^{2+}$$ row rise above the surface plane as the crystal was cooled. Subsequent worming revealed the onset of a thermally activated incommensurate surface phase, driven by the elevated rows. We are currently investigating the structure of the magnetic phases in these quasi-one-dimensional magnetic rows. Multiferroics are excellent candidates for large magnetoelectric response. We propose to extend this investigation to the class of delafossites which are also multiferroics and have been investigated as good candidates for thermoelectric power devices. They are also typical triangular lattice antiferromagnets with geometric magnetic frustration that leads to helimagnetic structures.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Trustees of Boston University
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States