Many-impurity scattering on the surface of a topological insulator



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Hernando Grande, Antonio and Baba, Yuriko Caterina and Díaz García, Elena and Domínguez-Adame Acosta, Francisco (2021) Many-impurity scattering on the surface of a topological insulator. Scientific reports, 11 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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We theoretically address the impact of a random distribution of non-magnetic impurities on the electron states formed at the surface of a topological insulator. The interaction of electrons with the impurities is accounted for by a separable pseudo-potential method that allows us to obtain closed expressions for the density of states. Spectral properties of surface states are assessed by means of the Green's function averaged over disorder realisations. For comparison purposes, the configurationally averaged Green's function is calculated by means of two different self-consistent methods, namely the self-consistent Born approximation (SCBA) and the coherent potential approximation (CPA). The latter is often regarded as the best single-site theory for the study of the spectral properties of disordered systems. However, although a large number of works employ the SCBA for the analysis of many-impurity scattering on the surface of a topological insulator, CPA studies of the same problem are scarce in the literature. In this work, we find that the SCBA overestimates the impact of the random distribution of impurities on the spectral properties of surface states compared to the CPA predictions. The difference is more pronounced when increasing the magnitude of the disorder.

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©2021 Nature Research
The authors thank A. Diaz-Fernandez for a critical reading of the manuscript. This work has been supported by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (Grant PID2019-106820RB-C21).

Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary sciences
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Materials
Sciences > Physics > Solid state physics
ID Code:65367
Deposited On:10 May 2021 17:30
Last Modified:11 May 2021 12:38

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