3 years ago

Forbidden Backscattering and Resistance Dip in the Quantum Limit as a Signature for Topological Insulators.

Yiyuan Chen, Hai-Zhou Lu, X. C. Xie

Identifying topological insulators and semimetals often focuses on their surface states, using spectroscopic methods such as the angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy or scanning tunneling microscopy. In contrast, studying the topological properties of topological insulators from their bulk-state transport is more accessible in most labs but seldom addressed. We show that, in the quantum limit of a topological insulator, the backscattering between the only two states on the Fermi surface of the lowest Landau band can be forbidden, at a critical magnetic field. The conductivity is determined solely by the backscattering between the two states, leading to a resistance dip that may serve as a signature for topological insulator phases. More importantly, this forbidden backscattering mechanism for the resistance dip is irrelevant to details of disorder scattering. Our theory can be applied to re-visit the experiments on Pb$_{1-x}$Sn$_x$Se, ZrTe$_5$, Ag$_2$Te families, and will be particularly useful for controversial small-gap materials at the boundary between topological insulator and normal insulator.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.03617

DOI: arXiv:1801.03617v2

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