Topological-metal to band-insulator transition in (Bi(1-x)In(x))2Se3 thin films

Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Nov 2;109(18):186403. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.186403. Epub 2012 Oct 31.


By combining transport and photoemission measurements on (Bi(1-x)In(x))(2)Se(3) thin films, we report that this system transforms from a topologically nontrivial metal into a topologically trivial band insulator through three quantum phase transitions. At x ≈ 3%-7%, there is a transition from a topologically nontrivial metal to a trivial metal. At x ≈ 15%, the metal becomes a variable-range-hopping insulator. Finally, above x ≈ 25%, the system becomes a true band insulator with its resistance immeasurably large even at room temperature. This material provides a new venue to investigate topologically tunable physics and devices with seamless gating or tunneling insulators.