Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field

Paananen T, Gerber H, Götte M, Dahm T (2014)
New Journal of Physics 16.

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Abstract
We study the properties of the surface states in three-dimensional topological insulators in the presence of a ferromagnetic exchange field. We demonstrate that for layered materials like the surface states on the top surface behave qualitatively different than the surface states at the side surfaces. We show that the group velocity of the surface states can be tuned by the direction and strength of the exchange field. If the exchange field becomes larger than the bulk gap of the material, a phase transition into a topologically nontrivial semimetallic state occurs. In particular, the material becomes a Weyl semimetal, if the exchange field possesses a nonzero component perpendicular to the layers. Associated with the Weyl semimetallic state we show that Fermi arcs appear at the surface. Under certain circumstances either one-dimensional or even two-dimensional surface flat bands can appear. We show that the appearance of these flat bands is related to chiral symmetries of the system and can be understood in terms of topological winding numbers. In contrast to previous systems that have been suggested to possess surface flat bands, the present system has a much larger energy scale, allowing the observation of surface flat bands at room temperature. The flat bands are tunable in the sense that they can be turned on or off by rotation of the ferromagnetic exchange field. Our findings are supported by both numerical results on a finite system as well as approximate analytical results.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Paananen T, Gerber H, Götte M, Dahm T. Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field. New Journal of Physics. 2014;16.
Paananen, T., Gerber, H., Götte, M., & Dahm, T. (2014). Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field. New Journal of Physics, 16.
Paananen, T., Gerber, H., Götte, M., and Dahm, T. (2014). Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field. New Journal of Physics 16.
Paananen, T., et al., 2014. Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field. New Journal of Physics, 16.
T. Paananen, et al., “Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field”, New Journal of Physics, vol. 16, 2014.
Paananen, T., Gerber, H., Götte, M., Dahm, T.: Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field. New Journal of Physics. 16, (2014).
Paananen, Tomi, Gerber, Henning, Götte, Matthias, and Dahm, Thomas. “Appearance of flat surface bands in three-dimensional topological insulators in a ferromagnetic exchange field”. New Journal of Physics 16 (2014).
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