Origin of the Electron-Phonon Interaction of Topological Semimetal Surfaces Measured with Helium Atom Scattering

Giorgio Benedek, Salvador Miret-Artés*, J. R. Manson, Adrian Ruckhofer, Wolfgang E. Ernst, Anton Tamtögl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


He atom scattering has been demonstrated to be a sensitive probe of the electron-phonon interaction parameter λ at metal and metal-overlayer surfaces. Here it is shown that the theory linking λ to the thermal attenuation of atom scattering spectra (the Debye-Waller factor) can be applied to topological semimetal surfaces, such as the quasi-one-dimensional charge-density-wave system Bi(114) and the layered pnictogen chalcogenides. The electron-phonon coupling, as determined for several topological insulators belonging to the class of bismuth chalcogenides, suggests a dominant contribution of the surface quantum well states over the Dirac electrons in terms of λ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1927-1933
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2020


  • Electron-phonon coupling
  • Topological insulator
  • Atom scattering
  • Surface analysis
  • Debye-Waller factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


  • NAWI Graz

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