Enhanced surface state protection and band gap in the topological insulator PbBi4 Te4 S3

K. Sumida, T. Natsumeda, K. Miyamoto, I. V. Silkin, K. Kuroda, K. Shirai, S. Zhu, K. Taguchi, M. Arita, J. Fujii, A. Varykhalov, O. Rader, V. A. Golyashov, K. A. Kokh, O. E. Tereshchenko, E. V. Chulkov, T. Okuda, A. Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Topological insulators (TIs) with an inverted bulk band and a strong spin-orbit coupling exhibit gapless topological surface states (TSSs) protected by time-reversal symmetry. Helical spin textures driven by spin-momentum locking offer the opportunity to generate spin-polarized currents and therefore TIs are expected to be used for future spintronic applications. For practical applications TIs are urgently required that are operable at room temperature due to a wide bulk band gap as well as a distinct topological surface state that is robust to atmospheric exposure. Here we show two distinguishable TSSs originating from different terminations on PbBi4Te4S3 by using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We find that one TSS is persistently observed, while the other becomes invisible upon intentional oxygen exposure. The result signifies the presence of a protected TSS buried under the topmost surface. Our finding paves the way for realizing a topological spintronics device under atmospheric conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104201
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018




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