Surface and Interface Bands of the CdTe–HgTe–CdTe Heterostructure: Evidence of Metallicity
Keywords:surface states, density functional calculations, HgTe–CdTe layers
Performed full-relativistic DFT calculations have demonstrated that thin HgTe layers are metallic and, with increasing thickness, do not become insulators – either ordinary band insulators or topological insulators. The variations of the potential at the CdTe–HgTe interfaces are found to be negligible in comparison with those at the terminating surfaces of the CdTe–HgTe–CdTe films, so that the interfaces in fact do not form any potential well. It is shown that the interface-related bands of the CdTe–HgTe–CdTe films are situated well below EF, so that a dominant input into the density of states at EF and, therefore, to the conductivity is provided not by the interface states, but by the surface bands of the net layered system. It is reasonable therefore to consider an alternative interpretation of the reported thickness dependence of the conductivity of the system, such as the possible surface segregation of components or unavoidable contaminations, which seems much more realistic than the interpretation based on involving topological insulators and topologically protected surface states.
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