Thickness-dependent topological phase transition and Rashba-like preformed topological surface states of α-Sn(001) thin films on InSb(001)

K. H.M. Chen, K. Y. Lin, S. W. Lien, S. W. Huang, C. K. Cheng, H. Y. Lin, C. H. Hsu, T. R. Chang, C. M. Cheng, M. Hong, J. Kwo

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Topological materials, possessing spin-momentum locked topological surface states (TSS), have attracted much interest due to their potential applications in spintronics. α-phase Sn (α-Sn), being one of them, displays enriched topological phases via band-gap engineering through a strain or confinement effect. In this work, we investigated the band evolution of in-plane compressively strained α-Sn(001) thin films on InSb(001) in a wide range of thickness from 3 bilayers (BL) to 370 BL by combining angle-resolved photoemission spectra and first-principles calculations. Gapped surface states evolved to a linearly dispersive TSS at a critical thickness of 6 BL, indicating that the system undergoes a phase transition from topologically trivial to nontrivial. For films thicker than 30 BL, additional Rashba-like surface states (RSS) were identified. These RSS served as preformed TSS in another strain-induced topological phase transition. In thick films, 370-BL α-Sn(001), so as to preclude the confinement effect in thin films, our results were consistent with a Dirac semimetal phase with Dirac nodes located along Formula Presented. This thickness-dependent band-structure study deepens our understanding of topological phase transitions and the evolution of Dirac states. Furthermore, the coexistence of TSS and RSS in a Dirac semimetal α-Sn might significantly enhance the potential for spintronic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075109
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume105
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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