physica status solidi (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters

Cover image for Vol. 7 Issue 1‐2

Special Issue: Topological Insulators – From Materials Design to Reality (Eds.: Claudia Felser, Shoucheng Zhang, Binghai Yan)

February 2013

Volume 7, Issue 1-2

Pages 1–162

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      Cover Picture: Observing electronic structures on ex-situ grown topological insulator thin films (Phys. Status Solidi RRL 1–2/2013)

      S. H. Yao, B. Zhou, M. H. Lu, Z. K. Liu, Y. B. Chen, J. G. Analytis, C. Brüne, W. H. Dang, S.-K. Mo, Z.-X. Shen, I. R. Fisher, L. W. Molenkamp, H. L. Peng, Z. Hussain and Y. L. Chen

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201390000

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      Topological insulators represent a novel state of quantum matter recently discovered with insulating bulk but conducting surface states formed by an odd number of Dirac fermions, which process helical spin texture and symbolic linear band dispersion in the momentum space. Besides their scientific significance, this class of materials has been demonstrated to be promising for numerous potential applications, such as low-power electronics, spintronic devices, and even quantum computation. The front-cover image illustrates the electronic structure of an elemental topological insulator Bi2Se3 with a single Dirac point at the apex of the conical band dispersion. This electronic structure can be directly detected by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES, see the Letter by S. H. Yao et al., pp. 130–132). In addition to the conventional in-situ prepared samples within the ultra-high vacuum environment, Yao et al. recently succeeded in developing methods to obtain the band structures of ex-situ prepared topological insulators, making the study of electronic structures in many functional materials and devices a reality.

  2. Issue Information

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  3. Inside Back Cover

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      Inside Back Cover: Circular dichroism in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy of topological insulators (Phys. Status Solidi RRL 1–2/2013)

      Yihua Wang and Nuh Gedik

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201390005

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      The cover image shows the electronic structure of a prototypical topological insulator Bi2Te3 in the energy-momentum space as obtained by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. Blue (red) represents positive (negative) intensity difference between spectra taken with left- versus right-circularly polarized light. The flower shape corresponds to the surface states of Bi2Te3, which exhibits strong hexagonal distortion at the top. The distortion is reduced moving towards the core (Dirac point). The three-fold symmetric circular dichroism pattern on the surface states is a direct consequence of the strong spin-orbit coupling of topological insulators and can be exploited to map out the electron spin structure with respect to momentum (see the article by Yihua Wang and Nuh Gedik, pp. 64–71). The circular base in this image corresponds to states below the Dirac point which are hybridized states between surface and bulk. The circular dichroism intensity is much weaker on these states.

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      Back Cover: Topological insulators from the perspective of first-principles calculations (Phys. Status Solidi RRL 1–2/2013)

      Haijun Zhang and Shou-Cheng Zhang

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201390006

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      Topological insulators are new quantum states with helical gapless edge or surface states inside the bulk band gap. These topological boundary states are protected by topological invariants, and they are robust against weak time-reversal invariant perturbations without closing the bulk band gap, such as lattice distortions and non-magnetic impurities. Importantly, these boundary states can avoid back-scattering at impurities, so topological insulators are expected to a broad range of applications from spintronics to the energy. First-principles calculations have been widely used to predict topological insulators with great success. In their review on pp. 72–81, Haijun Zhang and Shoucheng Zhang summarize the current progress in this field from the perspective of first-principles calculations. First, the basic concepts of topological insulators and the frequently-used techniques within first-principles calculations are briefly introduced. Secondly, the authors summarize general methodologies to search for new topological insulators. In the last part, they generally classify topological insulators into three types with s–p, p–p and d–f band inversions, and discuss some representative examples for each type.

  5. Editorial

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      NEWS from pss in 2013 (pages 1–2)

      Sabine Bahrs, Ingeborg Stass and Stefan Hildebrandt

      Version of Record online: 19 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201350501

  6. Contents

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  7. NEW IN pss

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  8. Preface

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      Topological Insulators – From Materials Design to Reality (pages 13–14)

      Binghai Yan, Claudia Felser and Shou-Cheng Zhang

      Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201350502

  9. Review@RRL

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      Topological insulator nanostructures (pages 15–25)

      Judy J. Cha, Kristie J. Koski and Yi Cui

      Version of Record online: 24 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206393

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      Nanostructured topological insulators with large surface-to-volume ratios are essential in order to study and control the exotic electronic properties of the topological surface states. Following the discovery of binary chalcogenides as topological insulators, the progress in the topological insulator research field has been remarkable. In this Review@RRL, synthesis of topological insulator nanostructures, notable transport experiments, and current nanomaterial challenges together with the corresponding solutions are presented for general readers.

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      Magnetotransport and induced superconductivity in Bi based three-dimensional topological insulators (pages 26–38)

      M. Veldhorst, M. Snelder, M. Hoek, C. G. Molenaar, D. P. Leusink, A. A. Golubov, H. Hilgenkamp and A. Brinkman

      Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206408

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      Topological insulators bear great promise for fundamental phenomena and applications. Magnetotransport measurements show rich phenomena including weak antilocalisation, Shubnikov–de Haas oscillations and large linear magnetoresistance. Proximity-induced superconductivity has resulted in gate-tunable and ballistic supercurrents, unusual Fraunhofer patterns and superconducting quantum interferometer devices. Here, Veldhorst et al. review the current status of the field and discuss the experiments that have been carried out to discriminate topological surface states from trivial (bulk) states.

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      Bismuth-based candidates for topological insulators: Chemistry beyond Bi2Te3 (pages 39–49)

      Anna Isaeva, Bertold Rasche and Michael Ruck

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206405

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      So far, topological non-triviality of a band structure can hardly be sensed from the real-space structural data. The missing link would give an impetus to chemists for a systematic search of new topological insulator (TI) materials. Stepping towards it, the review juxtaposes the known bismuth-based layered TIs and some structurally related compounds, encircling potential TI candidates or precursors. At the limit of the metallic state of bismuth, realized in the “confined metals”, novel TIs could be found.

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      Review of 3D topological insulator thin-film growth by molecular beam epitaxy and potential applications (pages 50–63)

      Liang He, Xufeng Kou and Kang L. Wang

      Version of Record online: 31 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201307003

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      The discovery of topological insulators (TI) has generated strong activities in condensed matter physics since recent years. In this review, the authors represent the use of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) technique to achieve high quality TI materials with few bulk defects and large surface contribution. Furthermore, the mechanisms to construct TI-related heterostructures and superlattices for both fundamental studies and applications is investigated.

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      Circular dichroism in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy of topological insulators (pages 64–71)

      Yihua Wang and Nuh Gedik

      Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206458

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      Topological insulators are a new phase of matter that exhibits exotic surface electronic properties. Determining the spin texture of this class of material is of paramount importance for both fundamental understanding of its topological order and future spin-based applications. Yihua Wang and Nuh Gedik review recent studies on using circularly polarized light in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy of topological insulators and its connection to their spin texture.

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      Topological insulators from the perspective of first-principles calculations (pages 72–81)

      Haijun Zhang and Shou-Cheng Zhang

      Version of Record online: 30 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206414

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      First-principles calculations play a crucial role in the field of topological insulators. This review briefly reports the widely-used techniques of first-principles calculations and the current progress in this field. Though many topological insulators have been discovered, it is still important to find more with desired properties, for example, a bigger band gap, multifunctional properties with topology. This review is expected to guide following works in this field.

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      Topological phase transition in bulk materials described by the coherent potential approximation technique (pages 82–89)

      Stanislav Chadov, Janos Kiss, Jürgen Kübler and Claudia Felser

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206395

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      The coherent potential approximation (CPA) widely used to model random chemical disorder can also be applied as an efficient adiabatic technique to study the topological state of the material from first principles. As Chadov et al. show here, by emulating the transition between topologically-distinct phases via CPA, one always encounters an intermediate composition which exhibits a Dirac cone in the bulk.

  10. Frontispiece

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      Frontispiece: Topological insulators and thermoelectric materials (Phys. Status Solidi RRL 1–2/2013)

      Lukas Müchler, Frederick Casper, Binghai Yan, Stanislav Chadov and Claudia Felser

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201390003

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      Currently known topological insulators (TIs) can possibly be classified into two families of materials: Compounds that derive from the cubic HgTe family and compounds that are similar to the layered Bi2Se3 family. The signatures found in the electronic structure of TIs also cause these materials to be excellent thermoelectric materials, such as narrow band gaps and heavy constituents. On the other hand, excellent thermoelectric materials can be also topologically trivial, such as PbTe. In their Review @ RRL article, Müchler et al. (pp. 91–100) present a short introduction to topological insulators and thermoelectric materials, and give examples of compound classes where both good thermoelectric properties and topological insulators can be found and how their properties correlate.

  11. Review@RRL

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      Topological insulators and thermoelectric materials (pages 91–100)

      Lukas Müchler, Frederick Casper, Binghai Yan, Stanislav Chadov and Claudia Felser

      Version of Record online: 22 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206411

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      Topological insulators are a new class of materials with a topologically protected edge of surface states with potential application for spintronics devices. Most topological insulators, however, are also excellent thermoelectric materials. In this Review@RRL the authors give a short introduction to topological insulators and their relation to thermoelectrics.

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      Floquet topological insulators (pages 101–108)

      Jérôme Cayssol, Balázs Dóra, Ferenc Simon and Roderich Moessner

      Version of Record online: 28 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206451

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      Time-periodic perturbations, like an electromagnetic wave, could be used to turn a trivial insulator (or a semimetal) into a topological phase. Several recent proposals to realize such nonequilibrium Chern or topological insulators are reviewed in the framework of the Floquet formalism. The authors also review the possibility to use photons in order to probe stationary topological phases like helical edge states (resp. chiral surface states) of 2D (resp. 3D) topological insulators.

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      From the adiabatic theorem of quantum mechanics to topological states of matter (pages 109–129)

      Jan Carl Budich and Björn Trauzettel

      Version of Record online: 8 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206416

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      Topological states of matter that can be understood at the level of noninteracting insulators and mean field superconductors, respectively, have attracted enormous interest in recent years. The authors review the theoretical foundations of these topological band structures in all symmetry classes and discuss how interactions and disorder can be included into the classification scheme.

  12. Rapid Research Letters

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    1. Observing electronic structures on ex-situ grown topological insulator thin films (pages 130–132)

      S. H. Yao, B. Zhou, M. H. Lu, Z. K. Liu, Y. B. Chen, J. G. Analytis, C. Brüne, W. H. Dang, S.-K. Mo, Z.-X. Shen, I. R. Fisher, L. W. Molenkamp, H. L. Peng, Z. Hussain and Y. L. Chen

      Version of Record online: 29 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206400

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      In this Letter, the authors have demonstrated the effectiveness of proper surface cleaning procedures on ex-situ grown topological insulator thin films (molecular beam epitaxial HgTe and vapor–solid grown Bi2Te3), and subsequently acquired the electronic structures successfully by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. This development would extend the study of electronic band structure to a variety of topological insulators without natural cleavage planes or those used in actual functional devices.

    2. Structural and electronic properties of highly doped topological insulator Bi2Se3 crystals (pages 133–135)

      Helin Cao, Suyang Xu, Ireneusz Miotkowski, Jifa Tian, Deepak Pandey, M. Zahid Hasan and Yong P. Chen

      Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206457

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The structural and electronic properties of highly doped topological insulator Bi2Se3 single crystals were studied. Angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy revealed the existence of topological surface states. Transport measurements showed that conduction was dominated by bulk carriers and confirmed a previously observed bulk quantum Hall effect in such highly doped samples.

    3. Electron–phonon coupling in the two-dimensional electron gas on Bi2Se3 (pages 136–138)

      Lucas Barreto, Marco Bianchi, Dandan Guan, Richard Hatch, Jianli Mi, Bo Brummerstedt Iversen and Philip Hofmann

      Version of Record online: 14 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206407

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      Angle-resolved photoemission spectra reveal the two-dimensional electron gas states on the surface of the topological insulator Bi2Se3. These states could be relevant for spintronics applications. The Letter by Barreto et al. studies the scattering of the electrons in the states by lattice vibrations.

    4. Intact Dirac cone of Bi2Te3 covered with a monolayer Fe (pages 139–141)

      M. R. Scholz, J. Sánchez-Barriga, D. Marchenko, A. Varykhalov, A. Volykhov, L. V. Yashina and O. Rader

      Version of Record online: 10 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206469

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      Because magnetic moments lift time reversal symmetry and topological protection, the reaction of topological insulators to deposited magnetic moments is a matter of current debate. The authors contribute to this discussion with the system Fe/Bi2Te3 where spectroscopically favorable conditions allow them to observe the Dirac point even after a full monolayer is deposited.

    5. Transport properties of Sb2Te3/Bi2Te3 topological insulator heterostructures (pages 142–144)

      Zuocheng Zhang, Xiao Feng, Minghua Guo, Yunbo Ou, Jinsong Zhang, Kang Li, Lili Wang, Xi Chen, Qikun Xue, Xucun Ma, Ke He and Yayu Wang

      Version of Record online: 25 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206391

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      Zhang et al. fabricated topological insulator heterostructures consisting of p-type Sb2Te3 and n-type Bi2Te3 layers by using molecular beam epitaxy. Gate-tuned magnetotransport studies demonstrate the coexistence of electron- and hole-type charge carriers on the opposite surfaces of the heterostructure. This work paves the road for realizing the proposed exotic quantum phenomena that require opposite polarity of the surface Dirac fermions in topological insulator based structures.

    6. Fabrication and characterization of semiconducting half-Heusler YPtSb thin films (pages 145–147)

      Rong Shan, Enrique V. Vilanova, Juan Qin, Frederick Casper, Gerhard H. Fecher, Gerhard Jakob and Claudia Felser

      Version of Record online: 13 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206413

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      Topological insulators have a great impact on the research field of spintronics applications. In this Letter Shan et al. report on the fabrication and influence of the annealing temperature on narrow-gap semiconductor YPtSb thin films. This half-Heusler compound is at the borderline between a trivial and a topological insulator.

    7. Topological surface states of Bi2Se3 coexisting with Se vacancies (pages 148–150)

      Binghai Yan, Delin Zhang and Claudia Felser

      Version of Record online: 22 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206415

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      Topological surface states are known to be robust against local defects such as vacancies and dangling bonds. In this Letter, another aspect of the topological protection is demonstrated. On the Bi2Se3 surface, topological surface states are found to sink down from the outer surface to the inner atomic layers, separating themselves away from defects, if a large number of Se vacancies exists on the surface.

    8. Controlling edge states in the Kane–Mele model via edge chirality (pages 151–153)

      Gabriel Autès and Oleg V. Yazyev

      Version of Record online: 22 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206383

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      The Kane–Mele model provides a prototypical description of the quantum spin Hall effect (for two-dimensional topological insulators). This Letter reveals the relation between the band dispersion of the quantum spin Hall edge states and crystallographic orientation of the edges. The Fermi velocity of the edge-state bands is found to increase monotonically upon changing the edge orientation from zigzag to armchair.

    9. Momentum-space instantons and maximally localized flat-band topological Hamiltonians (pages 154–156)

      Chao-Ming Jian, Zheng-Cheng Gu and Xiao-Liang Qi

      Version of Record online: 22 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206394

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      Materials with flat energy bands have interesting phases because of strong interaction effects. To find realistic Hamiltonians with flat bands, one wants to realize flat bands with local Hamiltonians. In this Letter, the authors show that the most localized flat-band Hamiltonians have eigenstate wavefunctions which are holomorphic functions in momentum space, and they correspond to instanton solutions in non-linear sigma models.

    10. Spectral flow for Aharonov–Bohm rings generated by zero-mass lines (pages 157–159)

      Timur Tudorovskiy, Vladimir E. Nazaikinskii and Mikhail I. Katsnelson

      Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201206446

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      Aharonov–Bohm rings naturally appear in graphene on certain substrates and in topological insulators. In these systems charge carriers are Dirac fermions, localized in the vicinity of zero mass lines. The external magnetic field does not influence the localization of charges but changes the spectrum of the system. Tudorovskiy et al. show that if the magnetic flux is changing by 2π in units of flux quantum, a part of the spectrum shifts as a whole. From a mathematical point of view, in this situation there exists a non-zero spectral flow.

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