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Title: Spectroscopic evidence of flat bands in breathing kagome semiconductor Nb3I8
Abstract Kagome materials have become solid grounds to study the interplay among geometry, topology, correlation, and magnetism. Recently, niobium halide semiconductors Nb 3 X 8 ( X  = Cl, Br, I) have been predicted to be two-dimensional magnets and these materials are also interesting for their breathing kagome geometry. However, experimental electronic structure studies of these promising materials are still lacking. Here, we report the spectroscopic evidence of flat and weakly dispersing bands in breathing-kagome semiconductor Nb 3 I 8 around 500 meV binding energy, which is well supported by our first-principles calculations. These bands originate from the breathing kagome lattice of niobium atoms and have niobium d -orbital character. They are found to be sensitive to the polarization of the incident photon beam. Our study provides insight into the electronic structure and flat band topology in an exfoliable kagome semiconductor, thereby providing an important platform to understand the interaction of geometry and electron correlations in two-dimensional materials.
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Award ID(s):
1847962 1719797
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Communications Materials
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Interplay of magnetism and electronic band topology in unconventional magnets enables the creation and fine control of novel electronic phenomena. In this work, we use scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to study thin films of a prototypical kagome magnet Fe3Sn2. Our experiments reveal an unusually large number of densely-spaced spectroscopic features straddling the Fermi level. These are consistent with signatures of low-energy Weyl fermions and associated topological Fermi arc surface states predicted by theory. By measuring their response as a function of magnetic field, we discover a pronounced evolution in energy tied to the magnetization direction. Electron scattering and interference imaging further demonstrates the tunable nature of a subset of related electronic states. Our experiments provide a direct visualization of how in-situ spin reorientation drives changes in the electronic density of states of the Weyl fermion band structure. Combined with previous reports of massive Dirac fermions, flat bands, and electronic nematicity, our work establishes Fe3Sn2as an interesting platform that harbors an extraordinarily wide array of topological and correlated electron phenomena.

  2. Resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs) have come full-circle in the past 10 years after their demonstration in the early 1990s as the fastest room-temperature semiconductor oscillator, displaying experimental results up to 712 GHz and fmax values exceeding 1.0 THz [1]. Now the RTD is once again the preeminent electronic oscillator above 1.0 THz and is being implemented as a coherent source [2] and a self-oscillating mixer [3], amongst other applications. This paper concerns RTD electroluminescence – an effect that has been studied very little in the past 30+ years of RTD development, and not at room temperature. We present experiments and modeling of an n-type In0.53Ga0.47As/AlAs double-barrier RTD operating as a cross-gap light emitter at ~300K. The MBE-growth stack is shown in Fig. 1(a). 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The blue-shifted main peak is attributed to the quantum-size effect on the emitter side, which creates a radiative recombination rate RN,2 comparable to the band-edge cross-gap rate RN,1. Further support for this model is provided by the shorter wavelength and weaker emission peak shown in Fig. 1(b) around = 1148 nm. Our quantum mechanical calculations attribute this to radiative recombination RR,3 in the RTD quantum well between the electron ground-state level E1,e, and the hole level E1,h. To further test the model and estimate quantum efficiencies, we conducted optical power measurements using a large-area Ge photodiode located ≈3 mm away from the RTD pinhole, and having spectral response between 800 and 1800 nm with a peak responsivity of ≈0.85 A/W at  =1550 nm. Simultaneous I-V and L-V plots were obtained and are plotted in Fig. 2(a) with positive bias on the top contact (emitter on the bottom). 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Fig. 3(b) shows the tunneling probability T according to the Kane two-band model in the three materials, In0.53Ga0.47As, GaAs, and GaN, following our observation of a similar electroluminescence mechanism in GaN/AlN RTDs (due to strong polarization field of wurtzite structures) [8]. The expression is Tinter = (2/9)∙exp[(-2 ∙Ug 2 ∙me)/(2h∙P∙E)], where Ug is the bandgap energy, P is the valence-to-conduction-band momentum matrix element, and E is the electric field. Values for the highest calculated internal E fields for the InGaAs and GaN are also shown, indicating that Tinter in those structures approaches values of ~10-5. As shown, a GaAs RTD would require an internal field of ~6×105 V/cm, which is rarely realized in standard GaAs RTDs, perhaps explaining why there have been few if any reports of room-temperature electroluminescence in the GaAs devices. [1] E.R. Brown,et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 58, 2291, 1991. [5] S. 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