Independence of topological surface state and bulk conductance in three-dimensional topological insulators

Shu Cai, Jing Guo, Vladimir A. Sidorov, Yazhou Zhou, Honghong Wang, Gongchang Lin, Xiaodong Li, Yanchuan Li, Ke Yang, Aiguo Li, Qi Wu, Jiangping Hu, Satya K. Kushwaha, Robert J. Cava, Liling Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The archetypical 3D topological insulators Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3, and Sb2Te3 commonly exhibit high bulk conductivities, hindering the characterization of the surface state charge transport. The optimally doped topological insulators Bi2Te2Se and Bi2−xSbxTe2S, however, allow for such characterizations to be made. Here we report an experimental comparison of the conductance for the topological surface and bulk states in Bi2Te2Se and Bi1.1Sb0.9Te2S, based on temperature-dependent high-pressure measurements. We find that the surface state conductance at low temperature remains constant in the face of orders of magnitude increase in the bulk state conductance, revealing in a straightforward way that the topological surface states and bulk states are decoupled at low temperatures, consistent with theoretical models, and confirming topological insulators to be an excellent venue for studying charge transport in 2D Dirac electron systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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