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Title: Chemical disorder in topological insulators: A route to magnetism tolerant topological surface states

Abstract

Here, we show that the chemical inhomogeneity in ternary three-dimensional topological insulators preserves the topological spin texture of their surface states against a net surface magnetization. The spin texture is that of a Dirac cone with helical spin structure in the reciprocal space, which gives rise to spin-polarized and dissipation-less charge currents. Thanks to the nontrivial topology of the bulk electronic structure, this spin texture is robust against most types of surface defects. However, magnetic perturbations break the time-reversal symmetry, enabling magnetic scattering and loss of spin coherence of the charge carriers. This intrinsic incompatibility precludes the design of magnetoelectronic devices based on the coupling between magnetic materials and topological surface states. We demonstrate that the magnetization coming from individual Co atoms deposited on the surface can disrupt the spin coherence of the carriers in the archetypal topological insulator Bi2Te3, while in Bi2Se2Te the spin texture remains unperturbed. This is concluded from the observation of elastic backscattering events in quasiparticle interference patterns obtained by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The mechanism responsible for the protection is investigated by energy resolved spectroscopy and ab initio calculations, and it is ascribed to the distorted adsorption geometry of localized magnetic moments due to Se–Te disorder,more » which suppresses the Co hybridization with the surface states.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1];  [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain); Fundacion Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragon (FINA), Zaragoza (Spain)
  2. Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), San Sebastian (Spain)
  3. Univ. of Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain)
  4. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
  5. Ames Lab. and Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  6. Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), San Sebastian (Spain); IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao (Spain)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1371898
Report Number(s):
IS-J-9336
Journal ID: ISSN 1530-6984; PII: 2358
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11358
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1530-6984
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 3D topological insulators; chemical disorder; magnetic atoms; quasiparticle-interference pattern; scanning tunneling microscopy

Citation Formats

Martínez-Velarte, M. Carmen, Kretz, Bernhard, Moro-Lagares, Maria, Aguirre, Myriam H., Riedemann, Trevor M., Lograsso, Thomas A., Morellon, Luis, Ibarra, M. Ricardo, Garcia-Lekue, Aran, and Serrate, David. Chemical disorder in topological insulators: A route to magnetism tolerant topological surface states. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00311.
Martínez-Velarte, M. Carmen, Kretz, Bernhard, Moro-Lagares, Maria, Aguirre, Myriam H., Riedemann, Trevor M., Lograsso, Thomas A., Morellon, Luis, Ibarra, M. Ricardo, Garcia-Lekue, Aran, & Serrate, David. Chemical disorder in topological insulators: A route to magnetism tolerant topological surface states. United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00311
Martínez-Velarte, M. Carmen, Kretz, Bernhard, Moro-Lagares, Maria, Aguirre, Myriam H., Riedemann, Trevor M., Lograsso, Thomas A., Morellon, Luis, Ibarra, M. Ricardo, Garcia-Lekue, Aran, and Serrate, David. Tue . "Chemical disorder in topological insulators: A route to magnetism tolerant topological surface states". United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00311. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1371898.
@article{osti_1371898,
title = {Chemical disorder in topological insulators: A route to magnetism tolerant topological surface states},
author = {Martínez-Velarte, M. Carmen and Kretz, Bernhard and Moro-Lagares, Maria and Aguirre, Myriam H. and Riedemann, Trevor M. and Lograsso, Thomas A. and Morellon, Luis and Ibarra, M. Ricardo and Garcia-Lekue, Aran and Serrate, David},
abstractNote = {Here, we show that the chemical inhomogeneity in ternary three-dimensional topological insulators preserves the topological spin texture of their surface states against a net surface magnetization. The spin texture is that of a Dirac cone with helical spin structure in the reciprocal space, which gives rise to spin-polarized and dissipation-less charge currents. Thanks to the nontrivial topology of the bulk electronic structure, this spin texture is robust against most types of surface defects. However, magnetic perturbations break the time-reversal symmetry, enabling magnetic scattering and loss of spin coherence of the charge carriers. This intrinsic incompatibility precludes the design of magnetoelectronic devices based on the coupling between magnetic materials and topological surface states. We demonstrate that the magnetization coming from individual Co atoms deposited on the surface can disrupt the spin coherence of the carriers in the archetypal topological insulator Bi2Te3, while in Bi2Se2Te the spin texture remains unperturbed. This is concluded from the observation of elastic backscattering events in quasiparticle interference patterns obtained by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The mechanism responsible for the protection is investigated by energy resolved spectroscopy and ab initio calculations, and it is ascribed to the distorted adsorption geometry of localized magnetic moments due to Se–Te disorder, which suppresses the Co hybridization with the surface states.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00311},
journal = {Nano Letters},
number = 7,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {6}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Nanoscopic diffusion of water on a topological insulator
    journal, January 2020