Probing the bulk electronic states of Bi 2Se 3 using nuclear magnetic resonance

Ben-Li Young*, Zong Yo Lai, Zhijun Xu, Alina Yang, G. D. Gu, Z. H. Pan, T. Valla, G. J. Shu, R. Sankar, F. C. Chou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We report a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) study of Bi 2Se 3 single crystals grown by three different methods. All the crystals show nine well-resolved peaks in their 209Bi NMR spectra of the nuclear quadrupolar splitting, albeit with an intensity anomaly. Spectra at different crystal orientations confirm that all the peaks are purely from the nuclear quadrupolar effect, with no other hidden peaks. We identify the short nuclear transverse relaxation time (T 2) effect as the main cause of the intensity anomaly. We also show that the 209Bi signal originates exclusively from bulk, while the contribution from the topological surface states is too weak to be detected by NMR. However, the bulk electronic structure in these single crystals is not the same, as identified by the NMR frequency shift and nuclear spin-lattice relaxation rate (1/T 1). The difference is caused by the different structural defect levels. We find that the frequency shift and 1/T 1 are smaller in samples with fewer defects and a lower carrier concentration. Also, the low-temperature power law of the temperature-dependent 1/T 1 (Tα) changes from the Korringa behavior α=1 in a highly degenerate semiconductor (where the electrons obey Fermi statistics) to α<1 in a less degenerate semiconductor (where the electrons obey Boltzmann statistics).

Original languageEnglish
Article number075137
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2012

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