Topological insulators represent unusual phases of quantum matter with an insulating bulk gap and gapless edges or surface states. The two-dimensional topological insulator phase was predicted in HgTe quantum wells and confirmed by transport measurements. Recently, Bi2 Se3 and related materials have been proposed as three-dimensional topological insulators with a single Dirac cone on the surface, protected by time-reversal symmetry. The topological surface states have been observed by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy experiments. However, few transport measurements in this context have been reported, presumably owing to the predominance of bulk carriers from crystal defects or thermal excitations. Here we show unambiguous transport evidence of topological surface states through periodic quantum interference effects in layered single-crystalline Bi2 Se3 nanoribbons, which have larger surface-to-volume ratios than bulk materials and can therefore manifest surface effects. Pronounced Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in the magnetoresistance clearly demonstrate the coherent propagation of two-dimensional electrons around the perimeter of the nanoribbon surface, as expected from the topological nature of the surface states. The dominance of the primary h/e oscillation, where h is Plancks constant and e is the electron charge, and its temperature dependence demonstrate the robustness of these states. Our results suggest that topological insulator nanoribbons afford promising materials for future spintronic devices at room temperature.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-l1-001-12, KUS-F1-033-02
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank D. Goldhaber-Gordon, K. A. Moler, J. Analytis and J. Maciejko for the helpful discussion. Y.C. acknowledges the support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Investigator Award (No. KUS-l1-001-12). H. P. acknowledges the support from MOST (2007CB936203). K. L. acknowledges the KAUST Postdoctoral Fellowship support No. KUS-F1-033-02. Y.L.C. and Z.X.S. acknowledge the support from the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract DE-AC02-76SF00515.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.