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

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201 Scopus citations


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
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 26 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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