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Novel topological crystalline insulator shows mass appeal
Date:8/29/2013

electrons, which took their places side-by-side with the Dirac electrons, a startling result in a solid-state material, Madhavan said.

The new massive electrons were measured topologically through scanning tunneling microscopy and electrically through spectroscopy, the researchers report.

The analysis revealed the Dirac point, which is the defining characteristic of the TCI, said Madhavan. Furthermore, the researchers found that varying the amount of tin imparted a measure of control over the material's properties, fulfilling yet another theoretical prediction.

Madhavan said the results confirmed the TCI's exotic band structure, a measure of the energy a surface electron may or may not possess within a solid. At the same time, the fundamental properties of the TCI remained accessible.

Moreover, observing and controlling Dirac electrons in TCIs paves the way for investigating relativistic physics in solid state systems: physics which was previously accessible only in the experiments of high-energy physics where particles are accelerated to speeds close to light.

In addition, the experiments revealed two distinct regimes of fermiology, an energy boundary used to make determinations about the properties of metals and semiconductors.


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Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
Source:Eurekalert

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