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Confined vs. extended Dirac surface states in topological crystalline insulator nanowires

Roni Majlin Skiff, Fernando de Juan, Raquel Queiroz, Subramanian Mathimalar, Haim Beidenkopf, Roni Ilan

SciPost Phys. Core 6, 011 (2023) · published 13 March 2023


Confining two dimensional Dirac fermions on the surface of topological insulators has remained an outstanding conceptual challenge. Here we show that Dirac fermion confinement is achievable in topological crystalline insulators (TCI), which host multiple surface Dirac cones depending on the surface termination and the symmetries it preserves. This confinement is most dramatically reflected in the flux dependence of these Dirac states in the nanowire geometry, where different facets connect to form a closed surface. Using SnTe as a case study, we show how wires with all four facets of the $\langle 100 \rangle$ type display novel Aharonov-Bohm oscillations, while nanowires with the four facets of the $\langle 110 \rangle$ type such oscillations are absent due to strong confinement of the Dirac states to each facet separately. Our results place TCI nanowires as a versatile platform for confining and manipulating Dirac surface states.

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