The breaking of time-reversal symmetry by ferromagnetism is predicted to yield profound changes to the electronic surface states of a topological insulator. Here, we report on a concerted set of structural, magnetic, electrical, and spectroscopic measurements of Mn-Bi2Se3 thin films wherein photoemission and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism studies have recently shown surface ferromagnetism in the temperature range 15K≤T≤100 K, accompanied by a suppressed density of surface states at the Dirac point. Secondary-ion mass spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy reveal an inhomogeneous distribution of Mn atoms, with a tendency to segregate towards the sample surface. Magnetometry and anisotropic magnetoresistance measurements are insensitive to the high-temperature ferromagnetism seen in surface studies, revealing instead a low-temperature ferromagnetic phase at T ≲5 K. The absence of both a magneto-optical Kerr effect and an anomalous Hall effect suggests that this low-temperature ferromagnetism is unlikely to be a homogeneous bulk phase but likely originates in nanoscale near-surface regions of the bulk where magnetic atoms segregate during sample growth. Although the samples are not ideal, with both bulk and surface contributions to electron transport, we measure a magnetoconductance whose behavior is qualitatively consistent with predictions that the opening of a gap in the Dirac spectrum drives quantum corrections to the conductance in topological insulators from the symplectic to the orthogonal class.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Nov 26 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics