Large-scale interlayer rotations and Te grain boundaries in (Bi,Sb)2Te3 thin films

Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Ryan J. Wu, Joon Sue Lee, Javad G. Azadani, Roberto Grassi, Mahendra Dc, Jian Ping Wang, Tony Low, Nitin Samarth, K. Andre Mkhoyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report the observation of two distinct large-scale defects in (Bi,Sb)2Te3 topological insulator (TI) thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Small-angle rotations are detected between quintuple layers of the TI film, extending throughout a grain and beyond, and nm-sized Te formations are discovered that extend along grain boundaries. Density functional theory calculations suggest that the rotational defects can affect the local band structure of the film while preserving spin-momentum locking in the Dirac bands, and that the Te nanostructures at grain boundaries can result in wider-band-gap regions between the grains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011201
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by C-SPIN, one of six STARnet program research centers and SMART, one of seven centers of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by NIST. This work utilized the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota (UMN), supported in part by the NSF through the UMN MRSEC Program No. DMR-1420013.

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 6

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Large-scale interlayer rotations and Te grain boundaries in (Bi,Sb)2Te3 thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this