Phase Separation Prevents the Synthesis of VBi2Te4 by Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Marieke Altena*, Thies Jansen*, Martina Tsvetanova, Alexander Brinkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Intrinsic magnetic topological insulators (IMTIs) have a non-trivial band topology in combination with magnetic order. This potentially leads to fascinating states of matter, such as quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) insulators and axion insulators. One of the theoretically predicted IMTIs is VBi2Te4, but experimental evidence of this material is lacking so far. Here, we report on our attempts to synthesise VBi2Te4 by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). X-ray diffraction reveals that in the thermodynamic phase space reachable by MBE, there is no region where VBi2Te4 is stably synthesised. Moreover, scanning transmission electron microscopy shows a clear phase separation to Bi2Te3 and VTe2 instead of the formation of VBi2Te4. We suggest the phase instability to be due to either the large lattice mismatch between VTe2 and Bi2Te3 or the unfavourable valence state of vanadium.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Crystal growth
  • Magnetic topological insulator
  • Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)
  • Phase separation
  • VBiTe
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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