Measurement of the quantum capacitance from two-dimensional surface state of a topological insulator at room temperature

Hyunwoo Choi, Tae Geun Kim, Changhwan Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A topological insulator (TI) is a new kind of material that exhibits unique electronic properties owing to its topological surface state (TSS). Previous studies focused on the transport properties of the TSS, since it can be used as the active channel layer in metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). However, a TI with a negative quantum capacitance (QC) effect can be used in the gate stack of MOSFETs, thereby facilitating the creation of ultra-low power electronics. Therefore, it is important to study the physics behind the QC in TIs in the absence of any external magnetic field, at room temperature. We fabricated a simple capacitor structure using a TI (TI-capacitor: Au-TI-SiO2-Si), which shows clear evidence of QC at room temperature. In the capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurement, the total capacitance of the TI-capacitor increases in the accumulation regime, since QC is the dominant capacitive component in the series capacitor model (i.e., CT−1 = CQ−1 + CSiO2−1). Based on the QC model of the two-dimensional electron systems, we quantitatively calculated the QC, and observed that the simulated C-V curve theoretically supports the conclusion that the QC of the TI-capacitor is originated from electron–electron interaction in the two-dimensional surface state of the TI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 15


  • Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET)
  • Quantum capacitance
  • Steep switching devices
  • Topological insulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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