Surface hall effect and nonlocal transport in SmB₆: evidence for surface conduction

Sci Rep. 2013 Nov 6;3:3150. doi: 10.1038/srep03150.


A topological insulator (TI) is an unusual quantum state in which the insulating bulk is topologically distinct from vacuum, resulting in a unique metallic surface that is robust against time-reversal invariant perturbations. The surface transport, however, remains difficult to isolate from the bulk conduction in most existing TI crystals (particularly Bi₂Se₃, Bi₂Te₃ and Sb₂Te₃) due to impurity caused bulk conduction. We report in large crystals of topological Kondo insulator (TKI) candidate material SmB₆ the thickness-independent surface Hall effects and non-local transport, which persist after various surface perturbations. These results serve as proof that at low temperatures SmB₆ has a metallic surface that surrounds an insulating bulk, paving the way for transport studies of the surface state in this proposed TKI material.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.