Spinodal Superlattices of Topological Insulators

Demet Usanmaz, Pinku Nath, Cormac Toher, Jose Javier Plata, Rico Friedrich, Marco Fornari, Marco Buongiorno Nardelli, Stefano Curtarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spinodal decomposition is proposed for stabilizing self-assembled interfaces between topological insulators (TIs) by combining layers of iso-structural and iso-valent TlBiX2 (X = S, Se, Te) materials. The composition range for gapless states is addressed concurrently to the study of thermodynamically driven boundaries. By tailoring composition, the TlBiS2-TlBiTe2 system might produce both spinodal superlattices and two-dimensional eutectic microstructures, either concurrently or separately. The dimensions and topological nature of the metallic channels are determined by following the spatial distribution of the charge density and the spin-texture. The results validate the proof of concept for obtaining spontaneously forming two-dimensional TI-conducting channels embedded into three-dimensional insulating environments without any vacuum interfaces. Since spinodal decomposition is a controllable kinetic phenomenon, its leverage could become the long-sought enabler for effective TI technological deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2331-2340
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018


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