Free-electron creation at the 60° twin boundary in Bi2Te3

Kwang Chon Kim, Joohwi Lee, Byung Kyu Kim, Won Young Choi, Hye Jung Chang, Sung Ok Won, Beomjin Kwon, Seong Keun Kim, Dow Bin Hyun, Hyun Jae Kim, Hyun Cheol Koo, Jung Hae Choi, Dong Ik Kim, Jin Sang Kim, Seung Hyub Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Interfaces, such as grain boundaries in a solid material, are excellent regions to explore novel properties that emerge as the result of local symmetry-breaking. For instance, at the interface of a layered-chalcogenide material, the potential reconfiguration of the atoms at the boundaries can lead to a significant modification of the electronic properties because of their complex atomic bonding structure. Here, we report the experimental observation of an electron source at 60° twin boundaries in Bi 2 Te 3, a representative layered-chalcogenide material. First-principles calculations reveal that the modification of the interatomic distance at the 60° twin boundary to accommodate structural misfits can alter the electronic structure of Bi 2 Te 3. The change in the electronic structure generates occupied states within the original bandgap in a favourable condition to create carriers and enlarges the density-of-states near the conduction band minimum. The present work provides insight into the various transport behaviours of thermoelectrics and topological insulators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12449
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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