Spin-selective tunneling from nanowires of the candidate topological Kondo insulator SmB6

Anuva Aishwarya, Zhuozhen Cai, Arjun Raghavan, Marisa Romanelli, Xiaoyu Wang, Xu Li, G. D. Gu, Mark Hirsbrunner, Taylor Hughes, Fei Liu, Lin Jiao, Vidya Madhavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incorporating relativistic physics into quantum tunneling can lead to exotic behavior such as perfect transmission through Klein tunneling. Here, we probed the tunneling properties of spin-momentum-locked relativistic fermions by designing and implementing a tunneling geometry that uses nanowires of the topological Kondo insulator candidate samarium hexaboride. The nanowires are attached to the end of scanning tunneling microscope tips and used to image the bicollinear stripe spin order in the antiferromagnet Fe1.03Te with a Neel temperature of about 50 kelvin. The antiferromagnetic stripes become invisible above 10 kelvin concomitant with the suppression of the topological surface states in the tip. We further demonstrate that the direction of spin polarization is tied to the tunneling direction. Our technique establishes samarium hexaboride nanowires as ideal conduits for spin-polarized currents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1222
Number of pages5
Issue number6611
StatePublished - Sep 9 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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