Electron interaction-driven insulating ground state in Bi 2Se3 topological insulators in the two-dimensional limit

Minhao Liu, Cui-Zu Chang, Zuocheng Zhang, Yi Zhang, Wei Ruan, Ke He, Li Li Wang, Xi Chen, Jin Feng Jia, Shou Cheng Zhang, Qi Kun Xue, Xucun Ma, Yayu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

184 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report a transport study of ultrathin Bi2Se3 topological insulators with thickness from one quintuple layer to six quintuple layers grown on sapphire by molecular beam epitaxy. At low temperatures, the film resistance increases logarithmically with decreasing temperature, revealing an insulating ground state. The insulating behavior becomes more pronounced in thinner films. The sharp increase of resistance with magnetic field, however, indicates the existence of weak antilocalization originated from the topological protection. We show that this unusual insulating ground state in the two-dimensional limit of topological insulators is induced by the combined effect of strong electron interaction and topological delocalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165440
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume83
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 26 2011

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Ground state
electron scattering
insulators
ground state
Electrons
Aluminum Oxide
Molecular beam epitaxy
Sapphire
sapphire
molecular beam epitaxy
Magnetic fields
Thin films
Temperature
thin films
magnetic fields
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Liu, Minhao ; Chang, Cui-Zu ; Zhang, Zuocheng ; Zhang, Yi ; Ruan, Wei ; He, Ke ; Wang, Li Li ; Chen, Xi ; Jia, Jin Feng ; Zhang, Shou Cheng ; Xue, Qi Kun ; Ma, Xucun ; Wang, Yayu. / Electron interaction-driven insulating ground state in Bi 2Se3 topological insulators in the two-dimensional limit. In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2011 ; Vol. 83, No. 16.
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Electron interaction-driven insulating ground state in Bi 2Se3 topological insulators in the two-dimensional limit. / Liu, Minhao; Chang, Cui-Zu; Zhang, Zuocheng; Zhang, Yi; Ruan, Wei; He, Ke; Wang, Li Li; Chen, Xi; Jia, Jin Feng; Zhang, Shou Cheng; Xue, Qi Kun; Ma, Xucun; Wang, Yayu.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 83, No. 16, 165440, 26.04.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Liu, Minhao

AU - Chang, Cui-Zu

AU - Zhang, Zuocheng

AU - Zhang, Yi

AU - Ruan, Wei

AU - He, Ke

AU - Wang, Li Li

AU - Chen, Xi

AU - Jia, Jin Feng

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AU - Ma, Xucun

AU - Wang, Yayu

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AB - We report a transport study of ultrathin Bi2Se3 topological insulators with thickness from one quintuple layer to six quintuple layers grown on sapphire by molecular beam epitaxy. At low temperatures, the film resistance increases logarithmically with decreasing temperature, revealing an insulating ground state. The insulating behavior becomes more pronounced in thinner films. The sharp increase of resistance with magnetic field, however, indicates the existence of weak antilocalization originated from the topological protection. We show that this unusual insulating ground state in the two-dimensional limit of topological insulators is induced by the combined effect of strong electron interaction and topological delocalization.

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