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Protective capping of topological surface states of intrinsically insulating Bi2
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We have identified epitaxially grown elemental Te as a capping material that is suited to protect the topological surface states of intrinsically insulating Bi2Te3. By using angle-resolved photoemission, we were able to show that the Te overlayer leaves the dispersive bands of the surface states intact and that it does not alter the chemical potential of the Bi2Te3 thin film. From in-situ four-point contact measurements, we observed that the conductivity of the capped film is still mainly determined by the metallic surface states and that the contribution of the capping layer is minor. Moreover, the Te overlayer can be annealed away in vacuum to produce a clean Bi2Te3
surface in its pristine state even after the exposure of the capped film to air. Our findings will facilitate well-defined and reliable ex-situ experiments on the properties of Bi2Te3
surface states with nontrivial topology.
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