Topological insulators are attracting considerable interest due to their potential for technological applications and as platforms for exploring wide-ranging fundamental science questions. In order to exploit, fine-tune, control, and manipulate the topological surface states, spectroscopic tools which can effectively probe their properties are of key importance. Here, we demonstrate that positrons provide a sensitive probe for topological states and that the associated annihilation spectrum provides a technique for characterizing these states. Firm experimental evidence for the existence of a positron surface state near Bi2Te2Se with a binding energy of Eb=2.7±0.2eV is presented and is confirmed by first-principles calculations. Additionally, the simulations predict a significant signal originating from annihilation with the topological surface states and show the feasibility to detect their spin texture through the use of spin-polarized positron beams.
|Journal||Physical Review B|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Sep 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|