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Control over Electron–Phonon Interaction by Dirac Plasmon Engineering in the Bi2Se3 Topological Insulator

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2018, 00:00 by Chihun In, Sangwan Sim, Beom Kim, Hyemin Bae, Hyunseung Jung, Woosun Jang, Myungwoo Son, Jisoo Moon, Maryam Salehi, Seung Young Seo, Aloysius Soon, Moon-Ho Ham, Hojin Lee, Seongshik Oh, Dohun Kim, Moon-Ho Jo, Hyunyong Choi
Understanding the mutual interaction between electronic excitations and lattice vibrations is key for understanding electronic transport and optoelectronic phenomena. Dynamic manipulation of such interaction is elusive because it requires varying the material composition on the atomic level. In turn, recent studies on topological insulators (TIs) have revealed the coexistence of a strong phonon resonance and topologically protected Dirac plasmon, both in the terahertz (THz) frequency range. Here, using these intrinsic characteristics of TIs, we demonstrate a new methodology for controlling electron–phonon interaction by lithographically engineered Dirac surface plasmons in the Bi2Se3 TI. Through a series of time-domain and time-resolved ultrafast THz measurements, we show that, when the Dirac plasmon energy is less than the TI phonon energy, the electron–phonon coupling is trivial, exhibiting phonon broadening associated with Landau damping. In contrast, when the Dirac plasmon energy exceeds that of the phonon resonance, we observe suppressed electron–phonon interaction leading to unexpected phonon stiffening. Time-dependent analysis of the Dirac plasmon behavior, phonon broadening, and phonon stiffening reveals a transition between the distinct dynamics corresponding to the two regimes as the Dirac plasmon resonance moves across the TI phonon resonance, which demonstrates the capability of Dirac plasmon control. Our results suggest that the engineering of Dirac plasmons provides a new alternative for controlling the dynamic interaction between Dirac carriers and phonons.