We have synthesised Bi2Se3 epitaxial thin films on c-sapphire substrates, where Se-related defects and strains are controlled precisely during pulsed laser deposition. This allows us to tune electrical and magnetotransport properties and probe the role of defects and strains as a function of processing conditions systematically. The defect microstructure has been studied in detail using high resolution X-ray diffraction and high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy. Magnetotransport measurements show a strong dependence on microstructure which is associated with the Se-content. With higher Se content, the film experiences large compressive strain along the [0 0 1] direction which is accompanied by the partial suppression of one family of twin domain formation. As a result, the insulating behavior becomes more pronounced at a low temperature which is understood in terms of the quantum correlation induced by electron-electron interactions. The compressive strain enhances spin-orbit coupling and topological characteristics. These results shed light on the importance of controlling the intrinsic defects during the growth of Bi2Se3 thin films, providing an effective way to suppress the bulk conductivity and establish the correlation between microstructure and strain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys