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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Nov 30;109(22):227401. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Atomic and electronic structure of ultrathin Bi(111) films grown on Bi2Te3(111) substrates: evidence for a strain-induced topological phase transition.

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

Erratum in

  • Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Apr 5;110(14):149901.


We studied the atomic and electronic structures of ultrathin Bi(111) films grown on Bi(2)Te(3) by means of angle-resolved photoemission, first-principles calculations, and low-energy electron diffraction. These Bi films were found to be strained due to the influence of the substrate. Accordingly, the band structure is affected and Bi undergoes a topological phase transition; it is shown that the Z(2) topological invariant in three dimensions switches from +1 (trivial) to -1 (nontrivial or topological). This was clearly confirmed from the change in the surface-state dispersion near the Fermi level. Our discovery offers a method to produce novel topological systems from simple materials.

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