Surface-Dominated Transport on a Bulk Topological Insulator

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  • Lucas Barreto, Denmark
  • Lisa Kühnemund, Institut für Festkörperphysik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • Frederik Edler, Institut für Festkörperphysik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • Christoph Tegenkamp, Institut für Festkörperphysik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • Jianli Mi, Denmark
  • Martin Bremholm
  • Bo Brummerstedt Iversen
  • Christian Frydendahl, Interdisciplinær Nanoscience center, Institut for Fysik og Astronomi, Denmark
  • Marco Bianchi
  • Philip Hofmann
Topological insulators are guaranteed to support metallic surface states on an insulating bulk, and one should thus expect that the electronic transport in these materials is dominated by the surfaces states. Alas, due to the high remaining bulk conductivity, surface contributions to transport have so-far only been singled out indirectly via quantum oscillations, or for devices based on gated and doped topological insulator thin films, a situation in which the surface carrier mobility could be limited by defect and interface scattering. Here we present the first direct measurement of surface-dominated conduction on an atomically clean surface of bulk-insulating Bi$_2$Te$_2$Se. Using nano-scale four point setups with variable contact distance, we show that the transport at 30 K is two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional and by combining these measurements with angle-resolved photoemission results from the same crystals, we find a surface state mobility of 390(30) cm$^{2}$V$^{-1}$s$^{-1}$ at 30 K at a carrier concentration of 8.71(7)$\times 10^{12}$ cm$^{-2}$.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNano Letters
Volume14
Issue7
Pages (from-to)3755-3760
Number of pages6
ISSN1530-6984
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci, cond-mat.mes-hall, angle-resolved photoemission, nanoscale four-point probe, scanning tunneling spectroscopy, topological insulator

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