skip to main content

Title: Evidence for higher order topology in Bi and Bi0.92Sb0.08
Abstract

Higher order topological insulators (HOTIs) are a new class of topological materials which host protected states at the corners or hinges of a crystal. HOTIs provide an intriguing alternative platform for helical and chiral edge states and Majorana modes, but there are very few known materials in this class. Recent studies have proposed Bi as a potential HOTI, however, its topological classification is not yet well accepted. In this work, we show that the (110) facets of Bi and BiSb alloys can be used to unequivocally establish the topology of these systems. Bi and Bi0.92Sb0.08(110) films were grown on silicon substrates using molecular beam epitaxy and studied by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The surfaces manifest rectangular islands which show localized hinge states on three out of the four edges, consistent with the theory for the HOTI phase. This establishes Bi and Bi0.92Sb0.08as HOTIs, and raises questions about the topological classification of the full family of BixSb1−xalloys.

Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1720633
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10277175
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
12
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    High entropy alloys (HEA) are an unusual class of materials where mixtures of elements are stochastically arrayed on a simple crystalline lattice. These systems exhibit remarkable functionality, often along several distinct axes: e.g., the examples [TaNb]1-x(TiZrHf)xare high strength and damage resistant refractory metals that also exhibit superconductivity with large upper critical fields. Here we report the discovery of anf-electron containing HEA, [TaNb]0.31(TiUHf)0.69, which is the first to include an actinide ion. Similar to the Zr-analogue, this material crystallizes in a body-centered cubic lattice with the lattice constanta = 3.41(1) Å and exhibits phonon mediated superconductivity with a transition temperaturesTc ≈ 3.2 K and uppermore »critical fieldsHc2 ≈ 6.4 T. These results expand this class of materials to include actinide elements, shows that superconductivity is robust in this sub-group, and opens the path towards leveraging HEAs as functional waste forms for a variety of radioisotopes.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    Excitons are spin integer particles that are predicted to condense into a coherent quantum state at sufficiently low temperature. Here by using photocurrent imaging we report experimental evidence of formation and efficient transport of non-equilibrium excitons in Bi2-xSbxSe3nanoribbons. The photocurrent distributions are independent of electric field, indicating that photoexcited electrons and holes form excitons. Remarkably, these excitons can transport over hundreds of micrometers along the topological insulator (TI) nanoribbons before recombination at up to 40 K. The macroscopic transport distance, combined with short carrier lifetime obtained from transient photocurrent measurements, indicates an exciton diffusion coefficient at least 36 m2 s−1, which correspondsmore »to a mobility of 6 × 104 m2 V−1 s−1at 7 K and is four order of magnitude higher than the value reported for free carriers in TIs. The observation of highly dissipationless exciton transport implies the formation of superfluid-like exciton condensate at the surface of TIs.

    « less
  3. Abstract

    Robustness to disorder is the defining property of any topological state. The ultimate disorder limits to topological protection are still unknown, although a number of theories predict that even in the amorphous state a quantized conductance might yet reemerge. Here we report that in strongly disordered thin films of the topological material Sb2Te3disorder-induced spin correlationsdominate transport of charge—they engender a spin memory phenomenon, generated by the nonequilibrium charge currents controlled by localized spins. We directly detect a glassy yet robust disorder-induced magnetic signal in filmsfree of extrinsic magnetic dopants, which becomes null in a lower-disorder crystalline state. This ismore »where large isotropic negative magnetoresistance (MR)—a hallmark of spin memory—crosses over to positive MR, first with only one e2/hquantum conduction channel, in a weakly antilocalized diffusive transport regime with a 2D scaling characteristic of the topological state. A fresh perspective revealed by our findings is that spin memory effect sets a disorder threshold to the protected topological state. It also points to new possibilities of tuning spin-dependent charge transport by disorder engineering of topological materials.

    « less
  4. Abstract

    Nonlinear photocurrent in time-reversal invariant noncentrosymmetric systems such as ferroelectric semimetals sparked tremendous interest of utilizing nonlinear optics to characterize condensed matter with exotic phases. Here we provide a microscopic theory of two types of second-order nonlinear direct photocurrents, magnetic shift photocurrent (MSC) and magnetic injection photocurrent (MIC), as the counterparts of normal shift current (NSC) and normal injection current (NIC) in time-reversal symmetry and inversion symmetry broken systems. We show that MSC is mainly governed by shift vector and interband Berry curvature, and MIC is dominated by absorption strength and asymmetry of the group velocity difference at time-reversedmore »±kpoints. Taking$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PT-symmetric magnetic topological quantum material bilayer antiferromagnetic (AFM) MnBi2Te4as an example, we predict the presence of large MIC in the terahertz (THz) frequency regime which can be switched between two AFM states with time-reversed spin orderings upon magnetic transition. In addition, external electric field breaks$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PTsymmetry and enables large NSC response in bilayer AFM MnBi2Te4, which can be switched by external electric field. Remarkably, both MIC and NSC are highly tunable under varying electric field due to the field-induced large Rashba and Zeeman splitting, resulting in large nonlinear photocurrent response down to a few THz regime, suggesting bilayer AFM-zMnBi2Te4as a tunable platform with rich THz and magneto-optoelectronic applications. Our results reveal that nonlinear photocurrent responses governed by NSC, NIC, MSC, and MIC provide a powerful tool for deciphering magnetic structures and interactions which could be particularly fruitful for probing and understanding magnetic topological quantum materials.

    « less
  5. Abstract

    Iron diantimonide is a material with the highest known thermoelectric power. By combining scanning transmission electron microscopic study with electronic transport neutron, X-ray scattering, and first principle calculation, we identify atomic defects that control colossal thermopower magnitude and nanoprecipitate clusters with Sb vacancy ordering, which induce additional phonon scattering and substantially reduce thermal conductivity. Defects are found to cause rather weak but important monoclinic distortion of the unit cellPnnm → Pm. The absence of Sb along [010] for high defect concentration forms conducting path due to Fedorbital overlap. The connection between atomic defect anisotropy and colossal thermopower in FeSb2paves the waymore »for the understanding and tailoring of giant thermopower in related materials.

    « less