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Topological states and phase transitions in Sb2Te3-GeTe multilayers

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journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2016, 10:29 by Thuy-Anh Nguyen, Dirk Backes, Angadjit Singh, Rhodri Mansell, Crispin Barnes, David A. Ritchie, Gregor Mussler, Martin Lanius, Detlev Grutzmacher, Vijay Narayan
Topological insulators (TIs) are bulk insulators with exotic ‘topologically protected’ surface conducting modes. It has recently been pointed out that when stacked together, interactions between surface modes can induce diverse phases including the TI, Dirac semimetal, and Weyl semimetal. However, currently a full experimental understanding of the conditions under which topological modes interact is lacking. Here, working with multilayers of the TI Sb2Te3 and the band insulator GeTe, we provide experimental evidence of multiple topological modes in a single Sb2Te3-GeTe-Sb2Te3 structure. Furthermore, we show that reducing the thickness of the GeTe layer induces a phase transition from a Dirac-like phase to a gapped phase. By comparing different multilayer structures we demonstrate that this transition occurs due to the hybridisation of states associated with different TI films. Our results demonstrate that the Sb2Te3-GeTe system offers strong potential towards manipulating topological states as well as towards controlledly inducing various topological phases.

Funding

Leverhulme Trust, EPSRC (UK), DFG-funded priority programme SPP1666.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Physics

Published in

Scientific Reports

Volume

6

Pages

27716 - 27716

Citation

NGUYEN, T.-A. ... et al, 2016. Topological states and phase transitions in Sb2Te3-GeTe multilayers. Scientific Reports, 6, 27716.

Publisher

Nature

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

20/05/2016

Publication date

2016-06-13

Copyright date

2016

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Nature under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

eISSN

2045-2322

Language

en