Thursday, July 18, 2013

1307.4559 (Xuetao Zhu et al.)

Electron-Phonon Coupling on the Surface of Topological Insulators    [PDF]

Xuetao Zhu, Colin Howard, Jiandong Guo, Michael El-Batanouny
Topological insulators (TIs) are materials that have a bulk electronic band gap like an ordinary insulator but have protected conducting states on their surface. One of the most interesting properties of TIs is their spin helicity, whereby the spin is locked normal to the wave vector of the surface electronic state. The topological surface states should be very stable in TIs, since these spin-textured surface states are robust against spin-independent backscattering. Scattering from defects and other lattice imperfections is possible provided the spin is not completely flipped. However, the quality of TI crystals can be controlled by careful growth, whereas phonons will exist in even the most perfect crystals. Consequently, electron-phonon coupling (EPC) should be the dominant scattering mechanism for surface electronic states at finite temperatures. Hence, the study of EPC in TIs is of exceptional importance in assessing any potential applications. In this article both experimental and theoretical studies of the EPC on the surface of TIs are reviewed, with the contents mainly focused on the typical strong three dimensional TIs, such as Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3.
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