Quantum Transport in Air-Stable Na3Bi Thin Films

Chang Liu, Golrokh Akhgar, James L. Collins, Jack Hellerstedt, Cheng Tan, Lan Wang, Shaffique Adam, Michael S. Fuhrer, Mark T. Edmonds

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Na3Bi has attracted significant interest in both bulk form as a three-dimensional topological Dirac semimetal and ultrathin form as a wide-band gap two-dimensional topological insulator. Its extreme air sensitivity has limited experimental efforts on thin and ultrathin films grown via molecular beam epitaxy to ultrahigh vacuum environments. Here, we demonstrate air-stable Na3Bi thin films passivated with magnesium difluoride (MgF2) or silicon (Si) capping layers. Electrical measurements show that deposition of MgF2 or Si has minimal impact on the transport properties of Na3Bi while in ultrahigh vacuum. Importantly, the MgF2-passivated Na3Bi films are air-stable and remain metallic for over 100 h after exposure to air, as compared to near instantaneous degradation when they are unpassivated. Air stability enables transfer of films to a conventional high-magnetic field cryostat, enabling quantum transport measurements, which verify that the Dirac semimetal character of Na3Bi films is retained after air exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35542–35546
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2020


  • air-stable
  • capping Layer
  • Dirac semimetal
  • NaBi
  • transport

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