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

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Abstract

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
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2019

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    Reifsnyder Hickey, D., Azadani, J. G., Richardella, A. R., Kally, J. C., Lee, J. S., Chang, H., Liu, T., Wu, M., Samarth, N., Low, T., & Mkhoyan, A. (2019). Structure and basal twinning of topological insulator Bi2Se3 grown by MBE onto crystalline Y3 F e5 O12. Physical Review Materials, 3(6), [061201]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.061201