Direct measurement of the out-of-plane spin texture in the dirac-cone surface state of a topological insulator

S. Souma, K. Kosaka, T. Sato, M. Komatsu, A. Takayama, T. Takahashi, M. Kriener, Kouji Segawa, Yoichi Ando

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We have performed spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy of Bi2Te3 and present the first direct evidence for the existence of the out-of-plane spin component on the surface state of a topological insulator. We found that the magnitude of the out-of-plane spin polarization on a hexagonally deformed Fermi surface of Bi2Te 3 reaches maximally 25% of the in-plane counterpart, while such a sizable out-of-plane spin component does not exist in the more circular Fermi surface of TlBiSe2, indicating that the hexagonal deformation of the Fermi surface is responsible for the deviation from the ideal helical spin texture. The observed out-of-plane polarization is much smaller than that expected from the existing theory, suggesting that an additional ingredient is necessary for correctly understanding the surface spin polarization in Bi 2Te3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216803
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 25

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