Structure and basal twinning of topological insulator Bi2Se3 grown by MBE onto crystalline Y3 F e5 O12

Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Javad G. Azadani, Anthony R. Richardella, James C. Kally, Joon Sue Lee, Houchen Chang, Tao Liu, Mingzhong Wu, Nitin Samarth, Tony Low, Andre Mkhoyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Whereas thin films of topological insulators grown by molecular beam epitaxy often display regular, triangular features, Bi2Se3 films grown onto yttrium iron garnet (YIG) display much greater disorder. Here, we present observations of various types of disorder present in these films using atomic force microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The investigation reveals the presence of an amorphous metal oxide layer between the substrate and the film, which appears to smooth out the nanometer-scale undulations in the YIG surface. It also shows the existence of quasiordered arrays of heavy atoms in some interfacial regions, as well as rotations and tilting between adjacent grains and basal twinning at various heights in the film. Using density functional theory, we explore the impact of these prominent basal twins on the electronic structure of the film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061201
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 25 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported in part by SMART, one of seven centers of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This work utilized the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota (UMN), supported in part by the NSF through the UMN MRSEC program (Grant No. DMR-1420013), and the CSE Minnesota Nano Center, UMN, supported in part by NSF through the NNIN program. The work at CSU was also supported by NSF (Grant No. EFMA-1641989) and the Department of Energy (Grant No. DE-SC0018994). We also acknowledge computational support from the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI). A.R. and N.S. acknowledge support from The Pennsylvania State University Two-Dimensional Crystal Consortium-Materials Innovation Platform (2DCC-MIP) which is supported by NSF cooperative Agreement No. DMR-1539916.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Physical Society.

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 6


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