Evidence for a Strong Topological Insulator Phase in $\mathrm{ZrTe_5}$

11 Aug 2016  ·  Manzoni G., Gragnaniello L., Autès G., Kuhn T., Sterzi A., Cilento F., Zacchigna M., Enenkel V., Vobornik I., Barba L., Bisti F., Bugnon Ph., Magrez A., Strocov V. N., Berger H., Yazyev O. V., Fonin M., Parmigiani F., Crepaldi A. ·

The complex electronic properties of $\mathrm{ZrTe_5}$ have recently stimulated in-depth investigations that assigned this material to either a topological insulator or a 3D Dirac semimetal phase. Here we report a comprehensive experimental and theoretical study of both electronic and structural properties of $\mathrm{ZrTe_5}$, revealing that the bulk material is a strong topological insulator (STI)... By means of angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy, we identify at the top of the valence band both a surface and a bulk state. The dispersion of these bands is well captured by ab initio calculations for the STI case, for the specific interlayer distance measured in our x-ray diffraction study. Furthermore, these findings are supported by scanning tunneling spectroscopy revealing the metallic character of the sample surface, thus confirming the strong topological nature of $\mathrm{ZrTe_5}$. read more

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Materials Science