Scanning tunneling microscopy study of the possible topological surface states in BiTeCl

25 Feb 2015  ·  Yan Y. J., Ren M. Q., Liu X., Huang Z. C., Jiang J., Fan Q., Miao J., Xie B. P., Zhang T., Feng D. L. ·

Recently, the non-centrosymmetric bismuth tellurohalides such as BiTeCl are being studied as possible candidates of topological insulators. While some photoemission studies showed that BiTeCl is an inversion asymmetric topological insulator, others showed that it is a normal semiconductor with Rashba splitting... Meanwhile, first-principle calculationsfailed to confirm the existence of topological surface states in BiTeCl so far. Therefore, the topological nature of BiTeCl requires further investigation. Here we report low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy study on the surface states of BiTeCl single crystals. On the tellurium-terminated surfaces with low defect density, strong evidences for topological surface states are found in the quasi-particle interference patterns generated by the scattering of these states, both in the anisotropy of the scattering vectors and the fast decay of the interference near step edges. Meanwhile, on samples with much higher defect densities, we observed surface states that behave differently. Our results help to resolve the current controversy on the topological nature of BiTeCl. read more

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Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics Strongly Correlated Electrons