Disentangling surface state formation in topological insulators
First real time mapping of the formation of topologically protected surface states (TSS) reveals surprising new spin-polarized unoccupied surface resonance states (USR) in Bi2Se3.
Significance and Impact
These states highlight how spin-orbit coupling shapes the properties of the surface in a new class of materials that can revolutionize computing.
- A transient state is created in a topological insulator after an excitation by an infrared laser and measured with a ultraviolet probe.
- A unique spin-, time- and angle resolved photoelectron spectrometer images the spin dependent electronic population.
- Calculations show that the unoccupied surface resonances are remnants of Rashba states that would exist in a trivial insulator.