Antimonene is a promising two-dimensional (2D) material that is calculated to have a significant fundamental bandgap usable for advanced applications such as field-effect transistors, photoelectric devices, and the quantum-spin Hall (QSH) state. Herein, we demonstrate a phenomenon termed topological proximity effect, which occurs between a 2D material and a three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI). We provide strong evidence derived from hydrogen etching on Sb2Te3 that large-area and well-ordered antimonene presents a 2D topological state. Delicate analysis with a scanning tunneling microscope of the evolutionary intermediates reveals that hydrogen etching on Sb2Te3 resulted in the formation of a large area of antimonene with a buckled structure. A topological state formed in the antimonene/Sb2Te3 heterostructure was confirmed with angle-resolved photoemission spectra and density-functional theory calculations; in particular, the Dirac point was located almost at the Fermi level. The results reveal that Dirac fermions are indeed realized at the interface of a 2D normal insulator (NI) and a 3D TI as a result of strong hybridization between antimonene and Sb2Te3. Our work demonstrates that the position of the Dirac point and the shape of the Dirac surface state can be tuned by varying the energy position of the NI valence band, which modifies the direction of the spin texture of Sb-BL/Sb2Te3 via varying the Fermi level. This topological phase in 2D-material engineering has generated a paradigm in that the topological proximity effect at the NI/TI interface has been realized, which demonstrates a way to create QSH systems in 2D-material TI heterostructures.
- angle-resolved photoemission spectra
- normal insulator
- scanning tunneling microscope
- topological insulator