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A topological insulator surface under strong Coulomb, magnetic and disorder perturbations

Wray, L. Andrew and Xu, Su-Yang and Xia, Yuqi and Hsieh, David and Fedorov, Alexei V. and Hor, Yew San and Cava, Robert J. and Bansil, Arun and Lin, Hsin and Hasan, M. Zahid (2011) A topological insulator surface under strong Coulomb, magnetic and disorder perturbations. Nature Physics, 7 (1). pp. 32-37. ISSN 1745-2473. doi:10.1038/nphys1838.

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Topological insulators embody a state of bulk matter characterized by spin-momentum-locked surface states that span the bulk bandgap. This highly unusual surface spin environment provides a rich ground for uncovering new phenomena. Understanding the response of a topological surface to strong Coulomb perturbations represents a frontier in discovering the interacting and emergent many-body physics of topological surfaces. Here we present the first controlled study of topological insulator surfaces under Coulomb and magnetic perturbations. We have used time-resolved deposition of iron, with a large Coulomb charge and significant magnetic moment, to systematically modify the topological spin structure of the Bi_2Se_3 surface. We observe that such perturbation leads to the creation of odd multiples of Dirac fermions and that magnetic interactions break time-reversal symmetry in the presence of band hybridizations. We present a theoretical model to account for the observed electron dynamics of the topological surface. Taken collectively, these results are a critical guide in controlling electron mobility and quantum behaviour of topological surfaces, not only for device applications but also in setting the stage for creating exotic particles such as axions or imaging monopoles on the surface.

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Hsieh, David0000-0002-0812-955X
Additional Information:© 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. Received 19 June 2010. Accepted 05 October 2010. Published online 12 December 2010. We acknowledge discussions with R. R. Biswas and D. Haldane. The synchrotron X-ray-based measurements and theoretical computations are supported by the Basic Energy Sciences of the US DOE (DE-FG-02-05ER46200, AC03-76SF00098 and DE-FG02-07ER46352). Materials growth and characterization are supported by NSF/DMR-0819860 and NSF-DMR-1006492. M.Z.H. acknowledges extra support from the A. P. Sloan Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG-02-05ER46200
Department of Energy (DOE)AC03-76SF00098
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-07ER46352
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140815-133452212
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48622
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:20 Aug 2014 22:52
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:33

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