Scattering of topological surface-state carriers at steps on surfaces

Naoya Fukui*, Rei Hobara, Akari Takayama, Ryota Akiyama, Toru Hirahara, Shuji Hasegawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The resistance across a step on ultrathin films of three different topological insulators, Bi2Te3, Bi2Se3, and (Bi1-xPbx)2Te3, was measured through anisotropy in two-dimensional resistivity by using the in situ square four-point probe method in ultrahigh vacuum. The step resistance was much larger for Bi2Te3 than for Bi2Se3 in the range of 1-10 quintuple-layer thickness, due to the smaller critical thickness for isolation of topological surface states in Bi2Te3. The transmission probability of carriers across a step is much higher for the bulk-insulating (Bi1-xPbx)2Te3 than bulk-metallic Bi2Te3, due to prevention of scattering of surface-state carriers into the bulk states. We were able to deduce microscopic information concerning the transmission probability at individual steps from the resistance data obtained macroscopically.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115418
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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