Spin-polarized surface resonances accompanying topological surface state formation

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Abstract

© 2016 Author(s). Topological insulators host spin-polarized surface states born out of the energetic inversion of bulk bands driven by the spin-orbit interaction. Here we discover previously unidentified consequences of band-inversion on the surface electronic structure of the topological insulator Bi 2 Se 3 . By performing simultaneous spin, time, and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we map the spin-polarized unoccupied electronic structure and identify a surface resonance which is distinct from the topological surface state, yet shares a similar spin-orbital texture with opposite orientation. Its momentum dependence and spin texture imply an intimate connection with the topological surface state. Calculations show these two distinct states can emerge from trivial Rashba-like states that change topology through the spin-orbit-induced band inversion. This work thus provides a compelling view of the coevolution of surface states through a topological phase transition, enabled by the unique capability of directly measuring the spin-polarized unoccupied band structure.

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Jozwiak, C., Sobota, J. A., Gotlieb, K., Kemper, A. F., Rotundu, C. R., Birgeneau, R. J., … Lanzara, A. (2016). Spin-polarized surface resonances accompanying topological surface state formation. Nature Communications, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13143

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