Strong and Weak Three-Dimensional Topological Insulators Probed by Surface Science Methods

M. Morgenstern, C. Pauly, J. Kellner, M. Liebmann, M. Pratzer, G. Bihlmayer, M. Eschbach, L. Plucinski, S. Otto, B. Rasche, M. Ruck, M. Richter, S. Just, F. Luepke, and B. Voigtlaender


The contributions of surface science methods to discover and improve 3D topological insulator materials are reviewed herein, illustrated with examples from the authors’ own work. In particular, it is demonstrated that spin-polarized angular-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy is instrumental to evidence the spin-helical surface Dirac cone, to tune its Dirac point energy toward the Fermi level, and to discover novel types of topological insulators such as dual ones or switchable ones in phase change materials. Moreover, procedures are introduced to spatially map potential fluctuations by scanning tunneling spectroscopy and to identify topological edge states in weak topological insulators.

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