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Nat Commun. 2016 Mar 11;7:10814. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10814.

Surface Landau levels and spin states in bismuth (111) ultrathin films.

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information &Quantum Physics, Key Laboratory of Strong-Coupled Quantum Matter Physics (CAS), University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.


The development of next-generation electronics is much dependent on the discovery of materials with exceptional surface-state spin and valley properties. Because of that, bismuth has attracted a renewed interest in recent years. However, despite extensive studies, the intrinsic electronic transport properties of Bi surfaces are largely undetermined due to the strong interference from the bulk. Here we report the unambiguous determination of the surface-state Landau levels in Bi (111) ultrathin films using scanning tunnelling microscopy under magnetic fields perpendicular to the surface. The Landau levels of the electron-like and the hole-like carriers are accurately characterized and well described by the band structure of the Bi (111) surface from density functional theory calculations. Some specific surface spin states with a large g-factor are identified. Our findings shed light on the exploiting surface-state properties of Bi for their applications in spintronics and valleytronics.

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