Topological insulators (TI) nanowires (NW) are an emerging class of structures, promising both novel quantum effects and potential applications in low-power electronics, thermoelectrics and spintronics. However, investigating the electronic states of TI NWs is complicated, due to their small lateral size, especially at room temperature. Here, we perform scanning probe based nanoscale imaging to resolve the local surface potential landscapes of Bi 2 Te 3 nanowires (NWs) at 300 K. We found equipotential rings around the NWs perimeter that we attribute to azimuthal 1D modes. Along the NW axis, these modes are altered, forming potential ripples in the local density of states, due to intrinsic disturbances. Potential mapping of electrically biased NWs enabled us to accurately determine their conductivity which was found to increase with the decrease of NW diameter, consistent with surface dominated transport. Our results demonstrate that TI NWs can pave the way to both exotic quantum states and novel electronic devices.
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