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Generation of spin-polarized hot electrons at topological insulators surfaces by scattering from collective charge excitations

Zakeri, Khalil 1; Wettstein, Janek 1; Sürgers, Christoph 1
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Topological insulators (TIs) are materials which exhibit topologically protected electronic surface states, acting as mass-less Dirac fermions. Beside their fascinating fundamental physics, TIs are also promising candidates for future spintronic devices. In this regard, generation of spin-polarized currents in TIs is the first and most important step towards their application in spin-based devices. Here we demonstrate that when electrons are scattered from the surface of bismuth selenide, a prototype TI, not only the elastic channel but also the inelastic channel is strongly spin dependent. In particular collective charge excitations (plasmons) excited at such surfaces show a large spin-dependent electron scattering. Electrons scattered by these excitations exhibit a high spin asymmetry, as high as 40%. The observed effect opens up new possibilities to generate spin-polarized currents at the surface of TIs or utilize the collective charge excitations to analyze the electrons’ spin. The results are also important to understand the spin polarization of the photo-excited electrons excited at TIs surfaces. Moreover, our finding will inspire new ideas for using these plasmonic excitations in the field of spin-plasmonics.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000138958
Veröffentlicht am 13.10.2021
DOI: 10.1038/s42005-021-00729-7
Zitationen: 1
Web of Science
Zitationen: 1
Zitationen: 1
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Physikalisches Institut (PHI)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 12.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2399-3650
KITopen-ID: 1000138958
Erschienen in Communications Physics
Verlag Nature Research
Band 4
Heft 1
Seiten Artikel Nr.: 225
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 11.10.2021
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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