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Emergent Momentum-Space Skyrmion Texture on the Surface of Topological Insulators.

ABSTRACT: The quantum anomalous Hall effect has been theoretically predicted and experimentally verified in magnetic topological insulators. In addition, the surface states of these materials exhibit a hedgehoglike "spin" texture in momentum space. Here, we apply the previously formulated low-energy model for Bi2Se3, a parent compound for magnetic topological insulators, to a slab geometry in which an exchange field acts only within one of the surface layers. In this sample set up, the hedgehog transforms into a skyrmion texture beyond a critical exchange field. This critical field marks a transition between two topologically distinct phases. The topological phase transition takes place without energy gap closing at the Fermi level and leaves the transverse Hall conductance unchanged and quantized to e2/2h. The momentum-space skyrmion texture persists in a finite field range. It may find its realization in hybrid heterostructures with an interface between a three-dimensional topological insulator and a ferromagnetic insulator.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5381213 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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