We report high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements on the honeycomb iridate Na2IrO3. Our measurements reveal the existence of a metallic surface band feature crossing the Fermi level with nearly linear dispersion and an estimated surface carrier density of 3.2×1013cm-2, which has not been theoretically predicted or experimentally observed, and provides the first evidence for metallic behavior on the boundary of this material, whereas the bulk bands exhibit a robust insulating gap. We further show the lack of theoretically predicted Dirac cones at the M points of the surface Brillouin zone, which confirms the absence of a stacked quantum spin Hall phase in this material. Our data indicates that the surface ground state of this material is exotic and metallic, unlike as predicted in theory, and establishes Na2IrO3 as a rare example of a strongly correlated spin-orbit insulator with surface metallicity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics