skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Observation of ultrahigh mobility surface states in a topological crystalline insulator by infrared spectroscopy

Abstract

Topological crystalline insulators possess metallic surface states protected by crystalline symmetry, which are a versatile platform for exploring topological phenomena and potential applications. However, progress in this field has been hindered by the challenge to probe optical and transport properties of the surface states owing to the presence of bulk carriers. Here, we report infrared reflectance measurements of a topological crystalline insulator, (001)-oriented Pb 1-xSn xSe in zero and high magnetic fields. We demonstrate that the far-infrared conductivity is unexpectedly dominated by the surface states as a result of their unique band structure and the consequent small infrared penetration depth. Moreover, our experiments yield a surface mobility of 40,000 cm 2 V -1 s -1, which is one of the highest reported values in topological materials, suggesting the viability of surface-dominated conduction in thin topological crystalline insulator crystals. These findings pave the way for exploring many exotic transport and optical phenomena and applications predicted for topological crystalline insulators.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [2]
  1. National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, FL (United States)
  2. Sichuan Univ., Chengdu (China). College of Physical Science and Technolog
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Department of Physics; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (China). Department of Physics
  4. National Taiwan University, Taipei (Taiwan). Center for Condensed Matter Sciences; Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei (Taiwan)
  5. Peking Univ., Beijing (China). International Center for Quantum Materials, School of Physics
  6. National Taiwan University, Taipei (Taiwan). Center for Condensed Matter Sciences
  7. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Department of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
OSTI Identifier:
1424919
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010526
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Electronic properties and materials; Surfaces, interfaces and thin films; Topological insulators

Citation Formats

Wang, Ying, Luo, Guoyu, Liu, Junwei, Sankar, R., Wang, Nan-Lin, Chou, Fangcheng, Fu, Liang, and Li, Zhiqiang. Observation of ultrahigh mobility surface states in a topological crystalline insulator by infrared spectroscopy. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00446-2.
Wang, Ying, Luo, Guoyu, Liu, Junwei, Sankar, R., Wang, Nan-Lin, Chou, Fangcheng, Fu, Liang, & Li, Zhiqiang. Observation of ultrahigh mobility surface states in a topological crystalline insulator by infrared spectroscopy. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00446-2.
Wang, Ying, Luo, Guoyu, Liu, Junwei, Sankar, R., Wang, Nan-Lin, Chou, Fangcheng, Fu, Liang, and Li, Zhiqiang. Mon . "Observation of ultrahigh mobility surface states in a topological crystalline insulator by infrared spectroscopy". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00446-2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1424919.
@article{osti_1424919,
title = {Observation of ultrahigh mobility surface states in a topological crystalline insulator by infrared spectroscopy},
author = {Wang, Ying and Luo, Guoyu and Liu, Junwei and Sankar, R. and Wang, Nan-Lin and Chou, Fangcheng and Fu, Liang and Li, Zhiqiang},
abstractNote = {Topological crystalline insulators possess metallic surface states protected by crystalline symmetry, which are a versatile platform for exploring topological phenomena and potential applications. However, progress in this field has been hindered by the challenge to probe optical and transport properties of the surface states owing to the presence of bulk carriers. Here, we report infrared reflectance measurements of a topological crystalline insulator, (001)-oriented Pb1-xSnxSe in zero and high magnetic fields. We demonstrate that the far-infrared conductivity is unexpectedly dominated by the surface states as a result of their unique band structure and the consequent small infrared penetration depth. Moreover, our experiments yield a surface mobility of 40,000 cm2 V-1 s-1, which is one of the highest reported values in topological materials, suggesting the viability of surface-dominated conduction in thin topological crystalline insulator crystals. These findings pave the way for exploring many exotic transport and optical phenomena and applications predicted for topological crystalline insulators.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-017-00446-2},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Massive and massless Dirac fermions in Pb1−xSnxTe topological crystalline insulator probed by magneto-optical absorption
journal, February 2016

  • Assaf, B. A.; Phuphachong, T.; Volobuev, V. V.
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep20323

Observation of Dirac Node Formation and Mass Acquisition in a Topological Crystalline Insulator
journal, August 2013


Observation of a topological crystalline insulator phase and topological phase transition in Pb1−xSnxTe
journal, January 2012

  • Xu, Su-Yang; Liu, Chang; Alidoust, N.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 3, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2191

Topological insulators and superconductors
journal, October 2011


Observation of Dirac Holes and Electrons in a Topological Insulator
journal, June 2011


Optical band gap and the Burstein–Moss effect in iodine doped PbTe using diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy
journal, July 2013


The birth of topological insulators
journal, March 2010


Magneto-optical conductivity in graphene
journal, December 2006


Quantum coherent transport in SnTe topological crystalline insulator thin films
journal, September 2014

  • Assaf, B. A.; Katmis, F.; Wei, P.
  • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 105, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4895456

Magneto-Optical Studies of the Band Structure of PbS
journal, August 1964


Topological surface transport in epitaxial SnTe thin films grown on Bi 2 Te 3
journal, March 2014


Infrared Spectroscopy of Landau Levels of Graphene
journal, May 2007


Topological phase diagram and saddle point singularity in a tunable topological crystalline insulator
journal, August 2015


Dynamical Conductivity and Zero-Mode Anomaly in Honeycomb Lattices
journal, May 2002

  • Ando, Tsuneya; Zheng, Yisong; Suzuura, Hidekatsu
  • Journal of the Physical Society of Japan, Vol. 71, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1143/JPSJ.71.1318

Topological Crystalline Insulators and Topological Superconductors: From Concepts to Materials
journal, March 2015


Optical evidence of surface state suppression in Bi-based topological insulators
journal, February 2014


Colloquium: Topological insulators
journal, November 2010


Measurement of the topological surface state optical conductance in bulk-insulating Sn-doped Bi 1.1 Sb 0.9 Te 2 S single crystals
journal, November 2016


Experimental realization of a topological crystalline insulator in SnTe
journal, September 2012

  • Tanaka, Y.; Ren, Zhi; Sato, T.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 8, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys2442

Quantum Oscillations and Hall Anomaly of Surface States in the Topological Insulator Bi2Te3
journal, July 2010


Topological Crystalline Insulators
journal, March 2011


Optical investigation of the thermoelectric topological crystalline insulator Pb 0.77 Sn 0.23 Se
journal, December 2014


Large-Chern-Number Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect in Thin-Film Topological Crystalline Insulators
journal, January 2014


Temperature-driven band inversion in Pb 0.77 Sn 0.23 Se : Optical and Hall effect studies
journal, December 2014


Kramers–Kronig constrained variational analysis of optical spectra
journal, August 2005

  • Kuzmenko, A. B.
  • Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 76, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1979470

Dirac mass generation from crystal symmetry breaking on the surfaces of topological crystalline insulators
journal, February 2015

  • Zeljkovic, Ilija; Okada, Yoshinori; Serbyn, Maksym
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 14, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat4215

Magneto-optical conductivity of Weyl semimetals
journal, June 2013


Spin-filtered edge states with an electrically tunable gap in a two-dimensional topological crystalline insulator
journal, December 2013

  • Liu, Junwei; Hsieh, Timothy H.; Wei, Peng
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 13, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat3828

Electrodynamics of correlated electron materials
journal, June 2011

  • Basov, D. N.; Averitt, Richard D.; van der Marel, Dirk
  • Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol. 83, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.83.471

Infrared probe of the anomalous magnetotransport of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite in the extreme quantum limit
journal, November 2006


Topological crystalline insulators in the SnTe material class
journal, January 2012

  • Hsieh, Timothy H.; Lin, Hsin; Liu, Junwei
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 3, Article No. 982
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1969

Surface State Charge Dynamics of a High-Mobility Three-Dimensional Topological Insulator
journal, September 2011


Two types of surface states in topological crystalline insulators
journal, December 2013


Crossover of the three-dimensional topological insulator Bi2Se3 to the two-dimensional limit
journal, June 2010

  • Zhang, Yi; He, Ke; Chang, Cui-Zu
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 6, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys1689

Symmetry breaking and Landau quantization in topological crystalline insulators
journal, July 2014


Dirac cone shift of a passivated topological Bi 2 Se 3 interface state
journal, April 2013


Highly Tunable Berry Phase and Ambipolar Field Effect in Topological Crystalline Insulator Pb 1– x Sn x Se
journal, February 2015


Two-dimensional surface state in the quantum limit of a topological insulator
journal, November 2010

  • Analytis, James G.; McDonald, Ross D.; Riggs, Scott C.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 6, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys1861

Sum-Rule Constraints on the Surface State Conductance of Topological Insulators
journal, September 2015


Observation of topological surface state quantum Hall effect in an intrinsic three-dimensional topological insulator
journal, November 2014

  • Xu, Yang; Miotkowski, Ireneusz; Liu, Chang
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 10, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys3140