It is well known that a topologically protected gapless state appears at an interface between a topological insulator and an ordinary insulator; however, the physics of the interface between a topological insulator and a metal has largely been left unexplored. Here we report a novel phenomenon termed topological proximity effect, which occurs between a metallic ultrathin film and a three-dimensional topological insulator. We study one bilayer of bismuth metal grown on the three-dimensional topological insulator material TlBiSe2, and by using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we found evidence that the topological Dirac-cone state migrates from the surface of TlBiSe2 to the attached one-bilayer Bi. We show that such a migration of the topological state occurs as a result of strong spin-dependent hybridization of the wave functions at the interface, which is also supported by our first-principles calculations. This discovery points to a new route to manipulating the topological properties of materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)