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Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 19(45): 30520-30532, 2017 Nov 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29115310


To realize spintronic devices based on topological insulators (TIs), well-defined interfaces between magnetic metals and TIs are required. Here, we characterize atomically precisely the interface between the 3d transition metal Fe and the TI Bi2Te3 at different stages of its formation. Using photoelectron diffraction and holography, we show that after deposition of up to 3 monolayers Fe on Bi2Te3 at room temperature, the Fe atoms are ordered at the interface despite the surface disorder revealed by our scanning-tunneling microscopy images. We find that Fe occupies two different sites: a hollow adatom deeply relaxed into the Bi2Te3 quintuple layers and an interstitial atom between the third (Te) and fourth (Bi) atomic layers. For both sites, our core-level photoemission spectra and density-functional theory calculations demonstrate simultaneous chemical bonding of Fe to both Te and Bi atoms. We further show that upon deposition of Fe up to a thickness of 20 nm, the Fe atoms penetrate deeper into the bulk forming a 2-5 nm interface layer containing FeTe. In addition, excessive Bi is pushed down into the bulk of Bi2Te3 leading to the formation of septuple layers of Bi3Te4 within a distance of ∼25 nm from the interface. Controlling the magnetic properties of the complex interface structures revealed by our work will be of critical importance when optimizing the efficiency of spin injection in TI-based devices.

Nano Lett ; 16(7): 4535-43, 2016 07 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27248659


The implementation of future graphene-based electronics is essentially restricted by the absence of a band gap in the electronic structure of graphene. Options of how to create a band gap in a reproducible and processing compatible manner are very limited at the moment. A promising approach for the graphene band gap engineering is to introduce a large-scale sublattice asymmetry. Using photoelectron diffraction and spectroscopy we have demonstrated a selective incorporation of boron impurities into only one of the two graphene sublattices. We have shown that in the well-oriented graphene on the Co(0001) surface the carbon atoms occupy two nonequivalent positions with respect to the Co lattice, namely top and hollow sites. Boron impurities embedded into the graphene lattice preferably occupy the hollow sites due to a site-specific interaction with the Co pattern. Our theoretical calculations predict that such boron-doped graphene possesses a band gap that can be precisely controlled by the dopant concentration. B-graphene with doping asymmetry is, thus, a novel material, which is worth considering as a good candidate for electronic applications.