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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Oct 6;97(14):146803. Epub 2006 Oct 3.

Role of spin-orbit coupling and hybridization effects in the electronic structure of ultrathin Bi films.

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Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


The electronic structure of Bi(001) ultrathin films (thickness > or =7 bilayers) on Si(111)-7x7 was studied by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and first-principles calculations. In contrast with the semimetallic nature of bulk Bi, both the experiment and theory demonstrate the metallic character of the films with the Fermi surface formed by spin-orbit-split surface states (SSs) showing little thickness dependence. Below the Fermi level, we clearly detected quantum well states (QWSs) at the M point, which were surprisingly found to be non-spin-orbit split; the films are "electronically symmetric" despite the obvious structural nonequivalence of the top and bottom interfaces. We found that the SSs hybridize with the QWSs near M and lose their spin-orbit-split character.

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