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Spin-related tunneling through a nanostructured electric-magnetic barrier on the surface of a topological insulator

Zhenhua Wu12* and Jun Li3

Author Affiliations

1 SKLSM, Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 912, Beijing 100083, China

2 CAE Team, Semiconductor R&D Center, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Gyeonggi-Do, Korea

3 Department of Physics, Semiconductor Photonics Research Center, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:90  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-90

Published: 27 January 2012


We investigate quantum tunneling through a single electric and/or magnetic barrier on the surface of a three-dimensional topological insulator. We found that (1) the propagating behavior of electrons in such system exhibits a strong dependence on the direction of the incident electron wavevector and incident energy, giving the possibility to construct a wave vector and/or energy filter; (2) the spin orientation can be tuned by changing the magnetic barrier structure as well as the incident angles and energies.

PACS numbers: 72.25.Dc; 73.20.-r; 73.23.-b; 75.70.-i.