Engineering Electronic Structure of a Two-Dimensional Topological Insulator Bi(111) Bilayer on Sb Nanofilms by Quantum Confinement Effect

Guang Bian, Zhengfei Wang, Xiao Xiong Wang, Caizhi Xu, Su Yang Xu, Thomas Miller, M. Zahid Hasan, Feng Liu, Tai Chang Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on the fabrication of a two-dimensional topological insulator Bi(111) bilayer on Sb nanofilms via a sequential molecular beam epitaxy growth technique. Our angle-resolved photoemission measurements demonstrate the evolution of the electronic band structure of the heterostructure as a function of the film thickness and reveal the existence of a two-dimensional spinful massless electron gas within the top Bi bilayer. Interestingly, our first-principles calculation extrapolating the observed band structure shows that, by tuning down the thickness of the supporting Sb films into the quantum dimension regime, a pair of isolated topological edge states emerges in a partial energy gap at 0.32 eV above the Fermi level as a consequence of quantum confinement effect. Our results and methodology of fabricating nanoscale heterostructures establish the Bi bilayer/Sb heterostructure as a platform of great potential for both ultra-low-energy-cost electronics and surface-based spintronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3859-3864
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Keywords

  • Bi(111) bilayer
  • Kane-Mele model
  • quantum spin Hall effect
  • quantum well states

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