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Title: Absorption of surface acoustic waves by topological insulator thin films

Abstract

We present a theoretical study on the absorption of the surface acoustic waves (SAWs) by Dirac electrons in topological insulator (TI) thin films (TITFs). We find that due to momentum and energy conservation laws, the absorption of the SAWs in TITFs can only be achieved via intra-band electronic transitions. The strong absorption can be observed up to sub-terahertz frequencies. With increasing temperature, the absorption intensity increases significantly and the cut-off frequency is blue-shifted. More interestingly, we find that the absorption of the SAWs by the TITFs can be markedly enhanced by the tunable subgap in the Dirac energy spectrum of the TI surface states. Such a subgap is absent in conventional two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) and in the gapless Dirac 2DEG such as graphene. This study is pertinent to the exploration of the acoustic properties of TIs and to potential application of TIs as tunable SAW devices working at hypersonic frequencies.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Key Laboratory of Materials Physics, Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China)
  2. (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22318022
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ABSORPTION; ELECTRON GAS; GRAPHENE; SOUND WAVES; SURFACES; THIN FILMS; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS

Citation Formats

Li, L. L., E-mail: lllihfcas@foxmail.com, Xu, W., E-mail: wenxu-issp@aliyun.com, and Department of Physics, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091. Absorption of surface acoustic waves by topological insulator thin films. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4893002.
Li, L. L., E-mail: lllihfcas@foxmail.com, Xu, W., E-mail: wenxu-issp@aliyun.com, & Department of Physics, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091. Absorption of surface acoustic waves by topological insulator thin films. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4893002.
Li, L. L., E-mail: lllihfcas@foxmail.com, Xu, W., E-mail: wenxu-issp@aliyun.com, and Department of Physics, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091. Mon . "Absorption of surface acoustic waves by topological insulator thin films". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4893002.
@article{osti_22318022,
title = {Absorption of surface acoustic waves by topological insulator thin films},
author = {Li, L. L., E-mail: lllihfcas@foxmail.com and Xu, W., E-mail: wenxu-issp@aliyun.com and Department of Physics, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091},
abstractNote = {We present a theoretical study on the absorption of the surface acoustic waves (SAWs) by Dirac electrons in topological insulator (TI) thin films (TITFs). We find that due to momentum and energy conservation laws, the absorption of the SAWs in TITFs can only be achieved via intra-band electronic transitions. The strong absorption can be observed up to sub-terahertz frequencies. With increasing temperature, the absorption intensity increases significantly and the cut-off frequency is blue-shifted. More interestingly, we find that the absorption of the SAWs by the TITFs can be markedly enhanced by the tunable subgap in the Dirac energy spectrum of the TI surface states. Such a subgap is absent in conventional two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) and in the gapless Dirac 2DEG such as graphene. This study is pertinent to the exploration of the acoustic properties of TIs and to potential application of TIs as tunable SAW devices working at hypersonic frequencies.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4893002},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
issn = {0003-6951},
number = 6,
volume = 105,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {8}
}