Simultaneous electrical-field-effect modulation of both top and bottom Dirac surface states of epitaxial thin films of three-dimensional topological insulators.

Research paper by Cui-Zu CZ Chang, Zuocheng Z Zhang, Kang K Li, Xiao X Feng, Jinsong J Zhang, Minghua M Guo, Yang Y Feng, Jing J Wang, Li-Li LL Wang, Xu-Cun XC Ma, Xi X Chen, Yayu Y Wang, Ke K He, Qi-Kun QK Xue

Indexed on: 17 Jan '15Published on: 17 Jan '15Published in: Nano Letters


It is crucial for the studies of the transport properties and quantum effects related to Dirac surface states of three-dimensional topological insulators (3D TIs) to be able to simultaneously tune the chemical potentials of both top and bottom surfaces of a 3D TI thin film. We have realized this in molecular beam epitaxy-grown thin films of 3D TIs, as well as magnetic 3D TIs, by fabricating dual-gate structures on them. The films could be tuned between n-type and p-type by each gate alone. Combined application of two gates can reduce the carrier density of a TI film to a much lower level than with only one of them and enhance the film resistance by 10,000%, implying that Fermi level is tuned very close to the Dirac points of both top and bottom surface states without crossing any bulk band. The result promises applications of 3D TIs in field effect devices.