Tuning bulk and surface conduction in the proposed topological Kondo insulator SmB6

Paul Syers, Dohun Kim, Michael Fuhrer, Johnpierre Paglione

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Bulk and surface state contributions to the electrical resistance of single-crystal samples of the topological Kondo-insulator compound SmB6 are investigated as a function of crystal thickness and surface charge density, the latter tuned by ionic liquid gating with electrodes patterned in a Corbino disk geometry on a single (100) surface. By separately tuning bulk and surface conduction channels, we show conclusive evidence for a model with an insulating bulk and metallic surface states, with a crossover temperature that depends solely on the relative contributions of each conduction channel. The surface conductance, on the order of 100  e2/h, exhibits a field-effect mobility of 133  cm2/Vs and a large carrier density of ∼2×1014  cm−2, in good agreement with recent photoemission results. With the ability to gate modulate surface conduction by more than 25%, this approach provides promise for both fundamental and applied studies of gate-tuned devices structured on bulk crystal samples
Original languageEnglish
Article number096601
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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