In Situ Strain Tuning of the Dirac Surface States in Bi2Se3 Films

David Flötotto, Yang Bai, Yang Hao Chan, Peng Chen, Xiaoxiong Wang, Paul Rossi, Cai Zhi Xu, Can Zhang, Joseph A. Hlevyack, Jonathan D. Denlinger, Hawoong Hong, Mei Yin Chou, Eric J. Mittemeijer, James N. Eckstein, Tai Chang Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elastic strain has the potential for a controlled manipulation of the band gap and spin-polarized Dirac states of topological materials, which can lead to pseudomagnetic field effects, helical flat bands, and topological phase transitions. However, practical realization of these exotic phenomena is challenging and yet to be achieved. Here we show that the Dirac surface states of the topological insulator Bi2Se3 can be reversibly tuned by an externally applied elastic strain. Performing in situ X-ray diffraction and in situ angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements during tensile testing of epitaxial Bi2Se3 films bonded onto a flexible substrate, we demonstrate elastic strains of up to 2.1% and quantify the resulting changes in the topological surface state. Our study establishes the functional relationship between the lattice and electronic structures of Bi2Se3 and, more generally, demonstrates a new route toward momentum-resolved mapping of strain-induced band structure changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5628-5632
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 12 2018


  • DFT
  • Topological surface state
  • XRD
  • in situ tensile testing
  • strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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