Nanomaterials and Crystals of Topological Insulators and Topological Crystalline Insulators

Balakrishnan G., Saghir M., Lees M.R., York S.J., Hindmarsh S.A., Sanchez A.M., Walker M., McConville C.F.


Topological insulators (TIs) and topological crystal insulators (TCIs) are a new class of materials that exhibit exotic surface properties. It is thought that these properties are easier to detect if the materials have a high surface-area-to-volume-ratio. We present optimised growth methods to obtain high quality nanomaterials of a number of TCI materials, which have been grown from powdered bulk crystals using a vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) technique. Nanomaterials of SnTe, Pb1−xSnxTe and Pb1−xSnxSe have been produced and detailed characterisation of the bulk crystals and the nanomaterials through x-ray diffraction, microscopy techniques and EDX analysis are presented. Finally, UHV surface preparation techniques for SnTe microcrystals are presented. Such methods can be used to facilitate direct in-situ measurements of the band structure of TIs and TCIs using techniques such as angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES).

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