Journal article

Momentum-Resolved Spin Dynamics of Bulk and Surface Excited States in the Topological Insulator Bi2Se3

The prospect of optically inducing and controlling a spin-polarized current in spintronic devices has generated wide interest in the out-of-equilibrium electronic and spin structure of topological insulators. In this Letter we show that only measuring the spin intensity signal over several orders of magnitude by spin-, time-, and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy can provide a comprehensive description of the optically excited electronic states in Bi2Se3. Our experiments reveal the existence of a surface resonance state in the second bulk band gap that is benchmarked by fully relativistic ab initio spin- resolved photoemission calculations. We propose that the newly reported state plays a major role in the ultrafast dynamics of the system, acting as a bottleneck for the interaction between the topologically protected surface state and the bulk conduction band. In fact, the spin- polarization dynamics in momentum space show that these states display macroscopically different temperatures and, more importantly, different cooling rates over several picoseconds.


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