Optical conductivity of bismuth-based topological insulators

P. Di Pietro, F. M. Vitucci, D. Nicoletti, L. Baldassarre, P. Calvani, R. Cava, Y. S. Hor, U. Schade, S. Lupi

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The optical conductivity σ1(ω) and the spectral weight SW of four topological insulators with increasing chemical compensation (Bi2Se3,Bi2Se2Te,Bi 2-xCaxSe3, and Bi2Te2Se) have been measured from 5 to 300 K and from subterahertz to visible frequencies. The effect of compensation is clearly observed in the infrared spectra through the suppression of an extrinsic Drude term and the appearance of strong absorption peaks that we assign to electronic transitions among localized states. From the far-infrared spectral weight SW of the most compensated sample (Bi2Te2Se), one can estimate a density of charge carriers on the order of 1017/cm3 in good agreement with transport data. Those results demonstrate that the low-energy electrodynamics in single crystals of topological insulators, even at the highest degree of compensation presently achieved, is still influenced by three-dimensional charge excitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045439
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 24 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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