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ISSN - 10980121, Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 2016, vol. 93, 3, p. -

Scattering properties of the three-dimensional topological insulator Sb2Te3: Coexistence of topologically trivial and nontrivial surface states with opposite spin-momentum helicity

Sessi P., Storz O., Bathon T., Wilfert S., Kokh K. A., Tereshchenko O. E., Bihlmayer G., Bode M.

© 2016 American Physical Society. The binary chalcogenides Bi2Te3 and Bi2Se3 are the most widely studied topological insulators. Although the quantum anomalous Hall effect has recently been observed in magnetically doped Sb2Te3, this compound has been studied to a much lesser extent. Here, by using energy-resolved quasiparticle interference mapping, we investigate the scattering events of pristine Sb2Te3 surfaces. We find that, in addition to the Dirac fermions, another strongly spin-polarized surface resonance emerges at higher energies in the unoccupied electronic states. Although the two surface states are of different origin, i.e., topologically protected and trivial, respectively, both show strongly directional scattering properties and absence of backscattering. A comparison with ab initio calculations demonstrates that this is a direct consequence of their spin-momentum-locked spin texture which is found to exhibit an opposite rotational sense for the trivial state and the Dirac state.