Emergent funtionalities at the epitaxial interfaces of correlated and spin-orbit materials

STM Image of Growth Spirals and Grain Boundaries on a Bi2Se3 Film

The focus of these studies is to investigate physical phenomena and enhanced functionality of well-characterized thin layers of epitaxial materials through collaborative research combining analytic and predictive computational theory with experimental growth and characterization. The emphasis will be on the study of how the interplay of strain, interactions with the substrate, correlations, and magnetic and spin-orbit interactions in ultrathin films may lead to enhanced functionalities, including superconductivity.

The particular systems to be addressed initially are the Bi-chalcogenides and Fe-based thin-films such as 3D topological insulators, oxides, and transition-metal intercalated graphene. The specific topics will include effects of interfacial bonding or proximity-induced superconductivity, polarization doping of thin superconducting materials, and strain-induced normal to topological insulating transitions.

Representative publications:

  1. Tuning Dirac states by strain in the topological insulator Bi2Se3”, Y. Liu, Y. Y. Li, S. Rajput, D. Gilks, L. Lari, P. L. Galindo, M. Weinert, V. K. Lazarov, and L. Li , Nat. Physics 10, 294 (2014).