A novel quasi-one-dimensional topological insulator in bismuth iodide β-Bi4I4

Gabriel Autès, Anna Isaeva, Luca Moreschini, Jens C. Johannsen, Andrea Pisoni, Ryo Mori, Wentao Zhang, Taisia G. Filatova, Alexey N. Kuznetsov, László Forró, Wouter Van Den Broek, Yeongkwan Kim, Keun Su Kim, Alessandra Lanzara, Jonathan D. Denlinger, Eli Rotenberg, Aaron Bostwick, Marco Grioni, Oleg V. Yazyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Recent progress in the field of topological states of matter has largely been initiated by the discovery of bismuth and antimony chalcogenide bulk topological insulators (TIs; refs 3-6), followed by closely related ternary compounds and predictions of several weak TIs (refs 17-19). However, both the conceptual richness of Z2 classification of TIs as well as their structural and compositional diversity are far from being fully exploited. Here, a new Z2 topological insulator is theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed in the β-phase of quasi-one-dimensional bismuth iodide Bi4I4. The electronic structure of β-Bi4I4, characterized by Z2 invariants (1;110), is in proximity of both the weak TI phase (0;001) and the trivial insulator phase (0;000). Our angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements performed on the (001) surface reveal a highly anisotropic band-crossing feature located at the M¯ point of the surface Brillouin zone and showing no dispersion with the photon energy, thus being fully consistent with the theoretical prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalNature materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank J. H. Dil, M. Ruck, M. Richter and K. Koepernik for fruitful discussions, H. Lee for discussions regarding the computational methodology, B. Kim for support during the beamtime on Merlin, M. Münch, K. Zechel and A. Weiz for assistance with synthesis and SEM/EDX measurements. We are grateful to E. Schmid for ultramicrotomy, to U. Kaiser and C. T. Koch for providing beam time for the TEM characterization. G.A. and O.V.Y. acknowledge support by the Swiss NSF (grant No. PP00P2_133552), ERC project ‘TopoMat’ (grant No. 306504) and NCCR-MARVEL. A.I. acknowledges the Priority Program 1666 ‘Topological Insulators’ of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, grant No. IS 250/1-1). L.M. acknowledges support by the Swiss NSF (grant No. PA00P21-36420). The Advanced Light Source and the laser-based ARPES measurements, part of the Ultrafast Materials Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, are supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. W.V.d.B. acknowledges the Carl-Zeiss Foundation. Electronic structure calculations have been performed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) under project s515.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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