As the thickness of a three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI) becomes comparable to the penetration depth of surface states, quantum tunneling between surfaces turns their gapless Dirac electronic structure into a gapped spectrum. Whether the surface hybridization gap can host topological edge states is still an open question. Herein, we provide transport evidence of 2D topological states in the quantum tunneling regime of a bulk insulating 3D TI BiSbTeSe2. Different from its trivial insulating phase, this 2D topological state exhibits a finite longitudinal conductance at ~2e2/h when the Fermi level is aligned within the surface gap, indicating an emergent quantum spin Hall (QSH) state. The transition from the QSH to quantum Hall (QH) state in a transverse magnetic field further supports the existence of this distinguished 2D topological phase. In addition, we demonstrate a second route to realize the 2D topological state via surface gap-closing and topological phase transition mechanism mediated by a transverse electric field. The experimental realization of the 2D topological phase in a 3D TI enriches its phase diagram and marks an important step toward functionalized topological quantum devices.
Hydrogen, the smallest and most abundant element in nature, can be efficiently incorporated within a solid and drastically modify its electronic and structural state. In most semiconductors interstitial hydrogen binds to defects and is known to be amphoteric, namely it can act either as a donor (H+) or an acceptor (H−) of charge, nearly always counteracting the prevailing conductivity type. Here we demonstrate that hydrogenation resolves an outstanding challenge in chalcogenide classes of three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators and magnets — the control of intrinsic bulk conduction that denies access to quantum surface transport, imposing severe thickness limits on the bulk. With electrons donated by a reversible binding of H+ions to Te(Se) chalcogens, carrier densities are reduced by over 1020cm−3, allowing tuning the Fermi level into the bulk bandgap to enter surface/edge current channels without altering carrier mobility or the bandstructure. The hydrogen-tuned topological nanostructures are stable at room temperature and tunable disregarding bulk size, opening a breadth of device platforms for harnessing emergent topological states.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Nature Communications
- Nature Publishing Group
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Electronic modulation of metal-support interactions improves polypropylene hydrogenolysis over ruthenium catalysts
Ruthenium (Ru) is the one of the most promising catalysts for polyolefin hydrogenolysis. Its performance varies widely with the support, but the reasons remain unknown. Here, we introduce a simple synthetic strategy (using ammonia as a modulator) to tune metal-support interactions and apply it to Ru deposited on titania (TiO2). We demonstrate that combining deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with temperature variation and density functional theory can reveal the complex nature, binding strength, and H amount. H2activation occurs heterolytically, leading to a hydride on Ru, an H+on the nearest oxygen, and a partially positively charged Ru. This leads to partial reduction of TiO2and high coverages of H for spillover, showcasing a threefold increase in hydrogenolysis rates. This result points to the key role of the surface hydrogen coverage in improving hydrogenolysis catalyst performance.
Annealed bulk crystals of barium titanate (BaTiO3) exhibit persistent photoconductivity (PPC) at room temperature. Samples were annealed in a flowing gas of humid argon and hydrogen, with a higher flow rate corresponding to larger PPC. When exposed to sub-bandgap light, a broad infrared (IR) absorption peak appears at 5000 cm−1(2 μm), attributed to polaronic or free-carrier absorption from electrons in the conduction band. Along with the increased IR absorption, electrical resistance is reduced by a factor of approximately two. The threshold photon energy for PPC is 2.9 eV, similar to the case of SrTiO3. This similarity suggests that the mechanisms are similar: an electron in substitutional hydrogen (HO) is photoexcited into the conduction band, causing the proton to leave the oxygen vacancy and attach to a host oxygen atom. The barrier to recover to the ground state is large such that PPC persists at room temperature.
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 corresponds 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.
Investigating the [C ii]-to-H i Conversion Factor and the H i Gas Budget of Galaxies at z ≈ 6 with Hydrodynamic Simulations
One of the most fundamental baryonic matter components of galaxies is the neutral atomic hydrogen (H
i). At low redshifts, this component can be traced directly through the 21 cm transition, but to infer the H igas content of the most distant galaxies, a viable tracer is needed. We here investigate the fidelity of the fine-structure transition of the (2 P3/2−2 P1/3) transition of singly ionized carbon C iiat 158 μm as a proxy for H iin a set simulated galaxies at z≈ 6, following the work by Heintz et al. We select 11,125 star-forming galaxies from the simbasimulations, with far-infrared line emissions postprocessed and modeled within the S igameframework. We find a strong connection between C iiand H i, with the relation between this C ii-to-H irelation ( β[C II]) being anticorrelated with the gas-phase metallicity of the simulated galaxies. We further use these simulations to make predictions for the total baryonic matter content of galaxies at z≈ 6, and specifically the H igas mass fraction. We find mean values of MH I/ M⋆= 1.4 and MH I/ Mbar,tot= 0.45. These results provide strong evidence for H ibeing the dominant baryonic matter component by mass in galaxies at z≈ 6.