Controlling the Spin Texture of Topological Insulators by Rational Design of Organic Molecules

Sebastian Jakobs, Awadhesh Narayan, Benjamin Stadtmüller, Andrea Droghetti, Ivan Rungger, Yew S. Hor, Svetlana Klyatskaya, Dominik Jungkenn, Johannes Stöckl, Martin Laux, Oliver L.A. Monti, Martin Aeschlimann, Robert J. Cava, Mario Ruben, Stefan Mathias, Stefano Sanvito, Mirko Cinchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We present a rational design approach to customize the spin texture of surface states of a topological insulator. This approach relies on the extreme multifunctionality of organic molecules that are used to functionalize the surface of the prototypical topological insulator (TI) Bi2Se3. For the rational design we use theoretical calculations to guide the choice and chemical synthesis of appropriate molecules that customize the spin texture of Bi2Se3. The theoretical predictions are then verified in angular-resolved photoemission experiments. We show that, by tuning the strength of molecule-TI interaction, the surface of the TI can be passivated, the Dirac point can energetically be shifted at will, and Rashba-split quantum-well interface states can be created. These tailored interface properties-passivation, spin-texture tuning, and creation of hybrid interface states-lay a solid foundation for interface-assisted molecular spintronics in spin-textured materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6022-6029
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 9 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


  • Topological insulators
  • hybrid organic/inorganic interfaces
  • organic molecules
  • spin texture


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