Filling of magnetic-impurity-induced gap in topological insulators by potential scattering – A. M. Black-Schaffer, A. V. Balatsky, J. Fransson (2015)


We show that the energy gap induced by ferromagnetically aligned magnetic impurities on the surface of a topological insulator can be filled, due to scattering off the nonmagnetic potential of the impurities. In both a continuum surface model and a three-dimensional tight-binding lattice model, we find that the energy gap disappears already at weak potential scattering as impurity resonances add spectral weight at the Dirac point. This can help explain seemingly contradictory experimental results as to the existence of a gap.


Physical Review B