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Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 30;5:4566. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5566.

Direct observation of the spin texture in SmB6 as evidence of the topological Kondo insulator.

Author information

1
Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland.
2
Laboratory for Muon Spin Spectroscopy, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland.
3
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
4
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] Physik-Institut, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrauss 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
5
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] Laboratory for Solid State Physics, ETH Zürich, CH-8093, Zürich, Switzerland.
6
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.
7
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] SwissFEL, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland.
8
Laboratory for Developments and Methods, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland.
9
Institute for Solid State Research, IFW Dresden, PO Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany.
10
Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.
11
1] Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China [2] Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter, Beijing 100084, China.
12
1] Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland [2] Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland [3] Laboratory for Solid State Physics, ETH Zürich, CH-8093, Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Topological Kondo insulators have been proposed as a new class of topological insulators in which non-trivial surface states reside in the bulk Kondo band gap at low temperature due to strong spin-orbit coupling. In contrast to other three-dimensional topological insulators, a topological Kondo insulator is truly bulk insulating. Furthermore, strong electron correlations are present in the system, which may interact with the novel topological phase. By applying spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, here we show that the surface states of SmB6 are spin polarized. The spin is locked to the crystal momentum, fulfilling time reversal and crystal symmetries. Our results provide strong evidence that SmB6 can host topological surface states in a bulk insulating gap stemming from the Kondo effect, which can serve as an ideal platform for investigating of the interplay between novel topological quantum states with emergent effects and competing orders induced by strongly correlated electrons.

PMID:
25074332
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5566

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