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Title: Observation of topologically protected states at crystalline phase boundaries in single-layer WSe2

Transition metal dichalcogenide materials are unique in the wide variety of structural and electronic phases they exhibit in the two-dimensional limit. Here we show how such polymorphic flexibility can be used to achieve topological states at highly ordered phase boundaries in a new quantum spin Hall insulator (QSHI), 1T′-WSe2. We observe edge states at the crystallographically aligned interface between a quantum spin Hall insulating domain of 1T′-WSe2and a semiconducting domain of 1H-WSe2in contiguous single layers. The QSHI nature of single-layer 1T′-WSe2is verified using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to determine band inversion around a 120 meV energy gap, as well as scanning tunneling spectroscopy to directly image edge-state formation. Using this edge-state geometry we confirm the predicted penetration depth of one-dimensional interface states into the two-dimensional bulk of a QSHI for a well-specified crystallographic direction. These interfaces create opportunities for testing predictions of the microscopic behavior of topologically protected boundary states.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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