We report an atomic-scale characterization of ZrTe5 by using scanning tunneling microscopy. We observe a bulk band gap of ∼80 meV with topological edge states at the step edge and, thus, demonstrate that ZrTe5 is a two-dimensional topological insulator. We also find that an applied magnetic field induces an energetic splitting of the topological edge states, which can be attributed to a strong link between the topological edge states and bulk topology. The relatively large band gap makes ZrTe5 a potential candidate for future fundamental studies and device applications.

 

ZrTe5 paper

 

This paper is published on Physical Review Letters 116, 176803 (2016).

Link to the full text: http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.176803

May 21, 2016