Mapping the unconventional orbital texture in topological crystalline insulators

Ilija Zeljkovic, Yoshinori Okada, Cheng Yi Huang, R. Sankar, Daniel Walkup, Wenwen Zhou, Maksym Serbyn, Fangcheng Chou, Wei Feng Tsai, Hsin Lin, A. Bansil, Liang Fu, M. Zahid Hasan, Vidya Madhavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The newly discovered topological crystalline insulators feature a complex band structure involving multiple Dirac cones, and are potentially highly tunable by external electric field, temperature or strain. Theoretically, it has been predicted that the various Dirac cones, which are offset in energy and momentum, might harbour vastly different orbital character. However, their orbital texture, which is of immense importance in determining a variety of a materialâ €™ s properties remains elusive. Here, we unveil the orbital texture of Pb 1â ̂'x Sn x Se, a prototypical topological crystalline insulator. By using Fourier-transform scanning tunnelling spectroscopy we measure the interference patterns produced by the scattering of surface-state electrons. We discover that the intensity and energy dependences of the Fourier transforms show distinct characteristics, which can be directly attributed to orbital effects. Our experiments reveal a complex band topology involving two Lifshitz transitions and establish the orbital nature of the Dirac bands, which could provide an alternative pathway towards future quantum applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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