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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Feb 21;112(7):076802. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Photoelectron spin-polarization control in the topological insulator Bi2Se3.

Author information

1
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1, Canada.
2
Hiroshima Synchrotron Radiation Center, Hiroshima University, 2-313 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, 1-3-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan.
4
Hiroshima Synchrotron Radiation Center, Hiroshima University, 2-313 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan and Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, 1-3-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan.
5
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, 01187 Dresden, Germany and Quantum Matter Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.
6
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1, Canada and Quantum Matter Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Abstract

We study the manipulation of the spin polarization of photoemitted electrons in Bi2Se3 by spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. General rules are established that enable controlling the photoelectron spin-polarization. We demonstrate the ± 100% reversal of a single component of the measured spin-polarization vector upon the rotation of light polarization, as well as full three-dimensional manipulation by varying experimental configuration and photon energy. While a material-specific density-functional theory analysis is needed for the quantitative description, a minimal yet fully generalized two-atomic-layer model qualitatively accounts for the spin response based on the interplay of optical selection rules, photoelectron interference, and topological surface-state complex structure. It follows that photoelectron spin-polarization control is generically achievable in systems with a layer-dependent, entangled spin-orbital texture.

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