Helium-Surface Interaction and Electronic Corrugation of Bi2Se3(111)

Adrian Ruckhofer*, Anton Tamtögl, Michael Pusterhofer, Martin Bremholm, Wolfgang E. Ernst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a study of the atom-surface interaction potential for the He-Bi2Se3(111) system. Using selective adsorption resonances, we are able to obtain the complete experimental band structure of atoms in the corrugated surface potential of the topological insulator Bi2Se3. He atom scattering spectra show several selective adsorption resonance features that are analyzed, starting with the free-atom approximation and a laterally averaged atom-surface interaction potential. Based on quantum mechanical calculations of the He-surface scattering intensities and resonance processes, we are then considering the three-dimensional atom-surface interaction potential, which is further refined to reproduce the experimental data. Following this analysis, the He-Bi2Se3(111) interaction potential is best represented by a corrugated Morse potential with a well depth of D = (6.54 ± 0.05) meV, a stiffness of κ = (0.58 ± 0.02) Å-1, and a surface electronic corrugation of (5.8 ± 0.2)% of the lattice constant. The experimental data may also be used as a challenging benchmark system to analyze the suitability of several van der Waals approaches: the He-Bi2Se3(111) interaction captures the fundamentals of weak adsorption systems where the binding is governed by long-range electronic correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17829-17841
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


  • NAWI Graz

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