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    Experimentelle Physik II

    Image & Results Gallery (recent achievements)

    Discovery of robust spin-polarized edge states on topological crystalline insulators

    Cleaved surfaces of topological crystalline insulators (TCIs) often exhibit step edges. For example, as highlighted by red and gray spheres, the rendered perspective STM image shows a double- (left) and a single-atomic step edge (right). The periodicity of the surface lattice remains unchanged for the double-atomic step edge (green box; top). In contrast, in the single-atomic case translational symmetry is broken such that pairs of red or grey atoms appear (purple box). This results in the appearance of a conductive channel (rendered image at the bottom) where spin-up and spin- down electrons move into opposite directions.

    Topological crystalline insulators (TCIs) are materials which - similar to the topological insulators (TIs) recently discovered in Würzburg exhibit spin-momentum-locked electronic states such that electrons with opposite spin move into converse directions. This property makes them highly interesting for potential applications, such as sensing or data processing. However, there is one important difference between the two material classes: whereas TI materials require rather complex preparation recipies to fully develop their special electronic properties, TCIs intrinsically carry topological states as a result of their very crystal structure.
    In cooperation with colleagues from Polish Academy of Sciences and Zürich University experimentalists and theorists from Würzburg's Faculty of Physics and Astronomy are now reporting the discovery of a new type of one-dimensional (1D) electronic states which exist at step edges of topological crystalline insulators. They form conductive channels which are only 10 nanometers wide and exhibit a surprising robustness against external perturbations. This may potentially allow for interconnections between functional units at ultrahigh packing densities. This result has been published in Science. 

    2016

    Realization of Topological p–n Junctions by Intrinsic Defect Grading

    Beyond the fundamental interest in topological insulators (TIs), their unusual electronic properties with a gapped bulk [...]

    Energetic and Spatial Mapping of Resonant Electronic Excitation

    Single particle manipulation offers unique possi­bili­ties to tune electronic properties of molecular and atomic [...]

    On the dual nature of magnetic dopants and competing trends in topological insulators

    The extraordinary properties of topological insulators (TIs) are related to linearly dispersing surface states which exhibit [...]

    Coexistence of topologically trivial and nontrivial surface states with opposite spin-momentum helicity

    Binary chalcogenides have recently attracted considerable interest since they possess [...]

    2015 & 2014

    Growth and magnetic domain structure of ultra-thin Fe-films on Rh(001)

    Iron (Fe) is the prototypical ferro­magnet. Its latin name, ferrum, is even used as a prefix to describe ordered magnetic materials. How­ever, Fe is also a good example for [...]

    Systematics of Molecular Self-Assembled Networks at Topological Insulators Surfaces

    The success of topological insulators (TI) in creating devices with unique functionalities is directly connected to the ability of coupling their helical spin states to well-defined [...]

    MnPc molecules on topological insulator surfaces

    Coupling molecules to topological insulators may offer a promising platform toward new functionalities.  In cooperation with scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences [...]

    Pre 2014

    Rashba-split surface states on a lead-silver alloys

    Rendered 3-dimensional representation of the surface of a PbAg surface alloy. Two mono-atomic step edges can be recognized. The surface is color-coded by using the [...]

     Herringbone reconstruction of Au(111)

    Bulk gold (Au) exhibits a face-center cubic (fcc) crystal structure.  However, the Au(111) surface is unstable against reconstruction as the surface free energy can be lowered by periodically adding atoms.  [...]

    Quasi-particle interference mapping of topological insulators

    Scanning tunneling microscopy is not only capable of imaging the landscape of a surface (topography). In addition, spectroscopic modes also allow to obtain a wealth of information [...]

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