Dimensional crossover in the quantum transport behaviour of the natural topological insulator Aleksite

Three-dimensional topological insulators comprise topologically protected surface states displaying massless, Dirac-like linear dispersion with spin-momentum locking. Electrical conduction through such surface states has been documented to manifest itself in a two-dimensional character of the angle-dependent magnetotransport behavior. Here, we explore the size-dependent electronic properties of nanostructures made of the lead-containing mineral Aleksite, a naturally occurring topological insulator. Compared to its sister compound Kawazulite, a member of the wellstudied Tetradymite crystal class, the crystal structure of Aleksite is distinguished by its lack of any counterpart within the group of synthetic topological insulators. Low temperature Hall measurements on thin Aleksite nanosheets reveal a significant carrier mobility on the order of 1000 cm(2)/(Vs), and a high carrier density of n = 3.9 x 10(25) m(-3). Importantly, for Aleksite nanoribbons with a width below 150 nm, a 1D weak antilocalization effect along with 1D universal conductance fluctuations emerges, which transforms into 2D behavior for larger ribbon widths

Published in:
Scientific Reports, 5, 11691
London, Nature Publishing Group

 Record created 2015-09-28, last modified 2019-02-25

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