Rapid Surface Oxidation as a Source of Surface Degradation Factor for Bi 2 Se 3

Desheng Kong, Judy J. Cha, Keji Lai, Hailin Peng, James G. Analytis, Stefan Meister, Yulin Chen, Hai-Jun Zhang, Ian R. Fisher, Zhi-Xun Shen, Yi Cui

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312 Scopus citations


Bismuth selenide (Bi2Se3) is a topological insulator with metallic surface states (SS) residing in a large bulk bandgap. In experiments, synthesized Bi2Se3 is often heavily n-type doped due to selenium vacancies. Furthermore, it is discovered from experiments on bulk single crystals that Bi2Se3 gets additional n-type doping after exposure to the atmosphere, thereby reducing the relative contribution of SS in total conductivity. In this article, transport measurements on Bi2Se3 nanoribbons provide additional evidence of such environmental doping process. Systematic surface composition analyses by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal fast formation and continuous growth of native oxide on Bi2Se3 under ambient conditions. In addition to n-type doping at the surface, such surface oxidation is likely the material origin of the degradation of topological SS. Appropriate surface passivation or encapsulation may be required to probe topological SS of Bi2Se3 by transport measurements. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4698-4703
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 23 2011
Externally publishedYes


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