Selective control of surface spin current in topological pyrite-type OsX2 (X = Se, Te) crystals

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Topological materials host robust surface states that could form the basis for future electronic devices. As such states have spins that are locked to the momentum, they are of particular interest for spintronic applications. Understanding spin textures of the surface states of topologically nontrivial materials, and being able to manipulate their polarization, is therefore essential if they are to be utilized in future technologies. Here we use first-principles calculations to show that pyrite-type crystals OsX2 (X = Se, Te) are a class of topological materials that can host surface states with spin polarization that can be either in-plane or out-of-plane. We show that the formation of low-energy states with symmetry-protected energy- and direction-dependent spin textures on the (001) surface of these materials is a consequence of a transformation from a topologically trivial to nontrivial state, induced by spin orbit interactions. The unconventional spin textures of these surface states feature an in-plane to out-of-plane spin polarization transition in the momentum space protected by local symmetries. Moreover, the surface spin direction and magnitude can be selectively filtered in specific energy ranges. Our demonstration of a new class of topological materials with controllable spin textures provides a platform for experimentalists to detect and exploit unconventional surface spin textures in future spin-based nanoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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