Interface symmetry and spin control in topological-insulator–semiconductor heterostructures

Interface symmetry and spin control in topological-insulator–semiconductor heterostructures Heterostructures combining topological and nontopological materials constitute the next frontier in the effort to incorporate topological insulators (TIs) into electronic devices. We show that the properties of the interface states appearing at the boundary between a topologically trivial semiconductor (SE) and a TI are controlled by the lowering of the interface symmetry due to the presence of the SE. For the [111]-grown heterostructure, SE-TI interface states exhibit elliptical contours of constant energy and complex spin textures with broken helicity, in contrast to the well-studied helical Dirac surface states. We derive a general effective Hamiltonian for SE-TI junctions, and propose experimental signatures such as an out of plane spin accumulation under a transport current and the opening of a spectral gap that depends on the direction of an applied in-plane magnetic field. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review B American Physical Society (APS)

Interface symmetry and spin control in topological-insulator–semiconductor heterostructures

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Interface symmetry and spin control in topological-insulator–semiconductor heterostructures

Abstract

Heterostructures combining topological and nontopological materials constitute the next frontier in the effort to incorporate topological insulators (TIs) into electronic devices. We show that the properties of the interface states appearing at the boundary between a topologically trivial semiconductor (SE) and a TI are controlled by the lowering of the interface symmetry due to the presence of the SE. For the [111]-grown heterostructure, SE-TI interface states exhibit elliptical contours of constant energy and complex spin textures with broken helicity, in contrast to the well-studied helical Dirac surface states. We derive a general effective Hamiltonian for SE-TI junctions, and propose experimental signatures such as an out of plane spin accumulation under a transport current and the opening of a spectral gap that depends on the direction of an applied in-plane magnetic field.
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Publisher
The American Physical Society
Copyright
Copyright © ©2017 American Physical Society
ISSN
1098-0121
eISSN
1550-235X
D.O.I.
10.1103/PhysRevB.95.241115
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Heterostructures combining topological and nontopological materials constitute the next frontier in the effort to incorporate topological insulators (TIs) into electronic devices. We show that the properties of the interface states appearing at the boundary between a topologically trivial semiconductor (SE) and a TI are controlled by the lowering of the interface symmetry due to the presence of the SE. For the [111]-grown heterostructure, SE-TI interface states exhibit elliptical contours of constant energy and complex spin textures with broken helicity, in contrast to the well-studied helical Dirac surface states. We derive a general effective Hamiltonian for SE-TI junctions, and propose experimental signatures such as an out of plane spin accumulation under a transport current and the opening of a spectral gap that depends on the direction of an applied in-plane magnetic field.

Journal

Physical Review BAmerican Physical Society (APS)

Published: Jun 29, 2017

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