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Title: Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier

Abstract

One of the most striking properties of three-dimensional topological insulators (TIs) is spin-momentum locking, where the spin is locked at right angles to momentum and hence an unpolarized charge current creates a net spin polarization. Alternatively, if a net spin is injected into the TI surface state system, it is distinctively associated with a unique carrier momentum and hence should generate a charge accumulation, as in the so-called inverse Edelstein effect. Here using a Fe/Al2O3/BN tunnel barrier, we demonstrate both effects in a single device in Bi2Te3: the electrical detection of the spin accumulation generated by an unpolarized current flowing through the surface states, and that of the charge accumulation generated by spins injected into the surface state system. This work is the first to utilize BN as part of a hybrid tunnel barrier on TI, where we observed a high spin polarization of 93% for the TI surfaces states. The reverse spin-to-charge measurement is an independent confirmation that spin and momentum are locked in the surface states of TI, and offers additional avenues for spin manipulation. It further demonstrates the robustness and versatility of electrical access to the spin system within TI surface states, an important step towards itsmore » utilization in TI-based spintronics devices.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [1]
  1. Naval Research Lab. (NRL), Washington, DC (United States). Materials Science and Technology Division
  2. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1499984
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0017632
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; spintronics; topological matter

Citation Formats

Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., and Jonker, B. T. Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y.
Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., & Jonker, B. T. Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y.
Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., and Jonker, B. T. Fri . "Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499984.
@article{osti_1499984,
title = {Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier},
author = {Li, C. H. and van ‘t Erve, O. M. J. and Yan, C. and Li, L. and Jonker, B. T.},
abstractNote = {One of the most striking properties of three-dimensional topological insulators (TIs) is spin-momentum locking, where the spin is locked at right angles to momentum and hence an unpolarized charge current creates a net spin polarization. Alternatively, if a net spin is injected into the TI surface state system, it is distinctively associated with a unique carrier momentum and hence should generate a charge accumulation, as in the so-called inverse Edelstein effect. Here using a Fe/Al2O3/BN tunnel barrier, we demonstrate both effects in a single device in Bi2Te3: the electrical detection of the spin accumulation generated by an unpolarized current flowing through the surface states, and that of the charge accumulation generated by spins injected into the surface state system. This work is the first to utilize BN as part of a hybrid tunnel barrier on TI, where we observed a high spin polarization of 93% for the TI surfaces states. The reverse spin-to-charge measurement is an independent confirmation that spin and momentum are locked in the surface states of TI, and offers additional avenues for spin manipulation. It further demonstrates the robustness and versatility of electrical access to the spin system within TI surface states, an important step towards its utilization in TI-based spintronics devices.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = ,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1. Figure 1.: Scanning tunneling microscopy imaging and spectroscopy of MBE grown Bi2Te3 surface. (a) STM image of MBE grown Bi2Te3 surface taken after growth showing characteristic triangular islands and spiral growth mode. (b) Tunneling spectra taken post growth at liquid nitrogen temperature, and extrapolation showing position of the Dirac pointmore » (ED) to be about 280 meV below the Fermi level (EF).« less

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

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    • Bahramy, M. S.; King, P. D. C.; de la Torre, A.
    • Nature Communications, Vol. 3, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2162

    Control over topological insulator photocurrents with light polarization
    journal, December 2011

    • McIver, J. W.; Hsieh, D.; Steinberg, H.
    • Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 7, Issue 2, p. 96-100
    • DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.214

    Electrical Detection of the Spin Polarization Due to Charge Flow in the Surface State of the Topological Insulator Bi 1.5 Sb 0.5 Te 1.7 Se 1.3
    journal, October 2014

    • Ando, Yuichiro; Hamasaki, Takahiro; Kurokawa, Takayuki
    • Nano Letters, Vol. 14, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1021/nl502546c

    Spintronics and pseudospintronics in graphene and topological insulators
    journal, April 2012

    • Pesin, Dmytro; MacDonald, Allan H.
    • Nature Materials, Vol. 11, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1038/nmat3305

    Electrical detection of charge-current-induced spin polarization due to spin-momentum locking in Bi2Se3
    journal, February 2014

    • Li, C. H.; van ‘t Erve, O. M. J.; Robinson, J. T.
    • Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 9, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.16

    Electrical Detection of the Helical Spin Texture in a p-type Topological Insulator Sb2Te3
    journal, July 2016

    • Li, C. H.; van ‘t Erve, O. M. J.; Li, Y. Y.
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep29533

    A topological Dirac insulator in a quantum spin Hall phase
    journal, April 2008

    • Hsieh, D.; Qian, D.; Wray, L.
    • Nature, Vol. 452, Issue 7190, p. 970-974
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature06843

    A tunable topological insulator in the spin helical Dirac transport regime
    journal, July 2009


    Topological Insulator Thin Films of Bi2Te3 with Controlled Electronic Structure
    journal, May 2011


    Room Temperature Electrical Detection of Spin Polarized Currents in Topological Insulators
    journal, November 2015


    Topological insulators in Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 with a single Dirac cone on the surface
    journal, May 2009

    • Zhang, Haijun; Liu, Chao-Xing; Qi, Xiao-Liang
    • Nature Physics, Vol. 5, Issue 6, p. 438-442
    • DOI: 10.1038/nphys1270

    Electrical injection and detection of spin-polarized currents in topological insulator Bi2Te2Se
    journal, September 2015

    • Tian, Jifa; Miotkowski, Ireneusz; Hong, Seokmin
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep14293

    Electron Tunneling through Ultrathin Boron Nitride Crystalline Barriers
    journal, February 2012

    • Britnell, Liam; Gorbachev, Roman V.; Jalil, Rashid
    • Nano Letters, Vol. 12, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1021/nl3002205

    Direct comparison of current-induced spin polarization in topological insulator Bi2Se3 and InAs Rashba states
    journal, November 2016

    • Li, C. H.; van ‘t Erve, O. M. J.; Rajput, S.
    • Nature Communications, Vol. 7, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13518

    Intrinsic Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Thin Films on Si and Their Thickness Limit
    journal, July 2010


    Spin nomenclature for semiconductors and magnetic metals
    journal, June 2004

    • Jonker, B. T.; Hanbicki, A. T.; Pierce, D. T.
    • Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Vol. 277, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2003.09.051

    Electronic structures of topological insulator Bi 2 Te 3 surfaces with non-conventional terminations
    journal, September 2016


    The birth of topological insulators
    journal, March 2010


    Fermi-level-dependent charge-to-spin current conversion by Dirac surface states of topological insulators
    journal, July 2016

    • Kondou, K.; Yoshimi, R.; Tsukazaki, A.
    • Nature Physics, Vol. 12, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1038/nphys3833

    Electrical Detection of Spin-Polarized Surface States Conduction in (Bi 0.53 Sb 0.47 ) 2 Te 3 Topological Insulator
    journal, August 2014

    • Tang, Jianshi; Chang, Li-Te; Kou, Xufeng
    • Nano Letters, Vol. 14, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1021/nl5026198

    Spin injection and inverse Edelstein effect in the surface states of topological Kondo insulator SmB6
    journal, November 2016

    • Song, Qi; Mi, Jian; Zhao, Dan
    • Nature Communications, Vol. 7, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13485

    Opportunities in chemistry and materials science for topological insulators and their nanostructures
    journal, October 2011


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.