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Observation of unconventional quantum spin textures in topological insulators


Hsieh, D; Xia, Y; Wray, L; Qian, D; Pal, A; Dil, J H; Osterwalder, J; Meier, F; Bihlmayer, G; Kane, C L; Hor, Y S; Cava, R J; Hasan, M Z (2009). Observation of unconventional quantum spin textures in topological insulators. Science, 323(5916):919-922.

Abstract

A topologically ordered material is characterized by a rare quantum organization of electrons that evades the conventional spontaneously broken symmetry–based classification of condensed matter. Exotic spin-transport phenomena, such as the dissipationless quantum spin Hall effect, have been speculated to originate from a topological order whose identification requires a spin-sensitive measurement, which does not exist to this date in any system. Using Mott polarimetry, we probed the spin degrees of freedom and demonstrated that topological quantum numbers are completely determined from spin texture–imaging measurements. Applying this method to Sb and Bi1–xSbx, we identified the origin of its topological order and unusual chiral properties. These results taken together constitute the first observation of surface electrons collectively carrying a topological quantum Berry's phase and definite spin chirality, which are the key electronic properties component for realizing topological quantum computing bits with intrinsic spin Hall–like topological phenomena.

Abstract

A topologically ordered material is characterized by a rare quantum organization of electrons that evades the conventional spontaneously broken symmetry–based classification of condensed matter. Exotic spin-transport phenomena, such as the dissipationless quantum spin Hall effect, have been speculated to originate from a topological order whose identification requires a spin-sensitive measurement, which does not exist to this date in any system. Using Mott polarimetry, we probed the spin degrees of freedom and demonstrated that topological quantum numbers are completely determined from spin texture–imaging measurements. Applying this method to Sb and Bi1–xSbx, we identified the origin of its topological order and unusual chiral properties. These results taken together constitute the first observation of surface electrons collectively carrying a topological quantum Berry's phase and definite spin chirality, which are the key electronic properties component for realizing topological quantum computing bits with intrinsic spin Hall–like topological phenomena.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:22 Jan 2010 13:45
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 22:47
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
ISSN:0036-8075
Additional Information:This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science, Vol. 323. no. 5916, 2009, pp. 919 - 922.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1167733

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