Deep Insight Into the Electronic Structure of Ternary Topological Insulators: A Comparative Study of PbBi4Te7 and PbBi6Te10

D. Pacile, S. V. Eremeev, M. Caputo, M. Pisarra, O. De Luca, I. Grimaldi, J. Fujii, Z. S. Aliev, M. B. Babanly, I. Vobornik, R. G. Agostino, A. Goldoni, V. Chulkov, M. Papagno*

*Corresponding author for this work

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By means of angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements, the electronic band structure of the three-dimensional PbBi4Te7 and PbBi6Te10 topological insulators is compared. The measurements clearly reveal coexisting topological and multiple Rashba-like split states close to the Fermi level for both systems. The observed topological states derive from different surface terminations, as confirmed by scanning tunneling microscopy measurements, and are well-described by the density functional theory simulations. Both the topological and the Rashba-like states reveal a prevalent two-dimensional character barely affected by air exposure. X-ray and valence band photoemission measurements suggest Rashba-like states stem from the van der Waals gap expansion, consistently with density functional theory calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800341
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica status solidi-Rapid research letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2018


  • density functional theory
  • electronic structure
  • photoemission
  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • topological insulators

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