The peculiar metallic electronic states observed in the Kondo insulator, samarium hexaboride (SmB6), has stimulated considerable attention among those studying non-trivial electronic phenomena. However, experimental studies of these states have led to controversial conclusions mainly due to the difficulty and inhomogeneity of the SmB6 crystal surface. Here, we show the detailed electronic structure of SmB6 with angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy measurements of the three-fold (111) surface where only two inequivalent time-reversal-invariant momenta (TRIM) exist. We observe the metallic two-dimensional state was dispersed across the bulk Kondo gap. Its helical in-plane spin polarisation around the surface TRIM indicates that SmB6 is topologically non-trivial, according to the topological classification theory for weakly correlated systems. Based on these results, we propose a simple picture of the controversial topological classification of SmB6.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)