Ivana Vobornik is activity coordinator of APE LOW ENERGY synchrotron radiation beamline.
Her research interests are centered on photoelectron spectroscopies with conventional and synchrotron radiation sources, ultra-high vacuum (UHV) techniques, UHV compatible surface preparation techniques and thin film deposition; Auger electron spectroscopy; low energy electron diffraction (LEED), Laue X-ray diffraction; resistivity and susceptibility measurements.
The emergence of Dirac semimetals has stimulated growing attention, owing to the considerable technological potential arising from their peculiar exotic quantum transport related to their nontrivial topological states. Especially, materials showing type-II Dirac fermions afford novel device functionalities enabled by anisotropic optical and magnetotransport properties. Nevertheless, real technological implementation has remained elusive so far. Definitely, in most Dirac semimetals, the Dirac point lies deep below the Fermi level, limiting technological exploitation. Here, it is shown that kitkaite (NiTeSe) represents an ideal platform for type-II Dirac fermiology based on spin-resolved angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and density functional theory. Precisely, the existence of type-II bulk Dirac fermions is discovered in NiTeSe around the Fermi level and the presence of topological surface states with strong (≈50%) spin polarization. By means of surface-science experiments in near-ambient pressure conditions, chemical inertness towards ambient gases (oxygen and water) is also demonstrated. Correspondingly, NiTeSe-based devices without encapsulation afford long-term efficiency, as demonstrated by the direct implementation of a NiTeSe-based microwave receiver with a room-temperature photocurrent of 2.8 µA at 28 GHz and more than two orders of magnitude linear dynamic range. The findings are essential to bringing to fruition type-II Dirac fermions in photonics, spintronics, and optoelectronics.
From our users
J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 12, 35, 8627–8636, (2021)
Unveiling the Mechanisms Ruling the Efficient Hydrogen Evolution Reaction with Mitrofanovite Pt3Te4
D.W. Boukhvalov, J. Cheng, G. D’Olimpio, F.C. Bocquet, C.-N. Kuo, A. Bari Sarkar, B. Ghosh, I. Vobornik, J. Fujii, K. Hsu, L.-M. Wang, O. Azulay, G. Nath Daptary, D. Naveh, C. Shan Lue, M. Vorokhta, A. Agarwal, L. Zhang, and A. Politano
By means of electrocatalytic tests, surface-science techniques and density functional theory, we unveil the physicochemical mechanisms ruling the electrocatalytic activity of recently discovered mitrofanovite (Pt3Te4) mineral. Mitrofanovite represents a very promising electrocatalyst candidate for energy-related applications, with a reduction of costs by 47% compared to pure Pt and superior robustness to CO poisoning. We show that Pt3Te4 is a weak topological metal with the Z2 invariant, exhibiting electrical conductivity (∼4 × 106 S/m) comparable with pure Pt. In hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the electrode based on bulk Pt3Te4 shows a very small overpotential of 46 mV at 10 mA cm–2 and a Tafel slope of 36–49 mV dec–1 associated with the Volmer–Heyrovsky mechanism. The outstanding ambient stability of Pt3Te4 also provides durability of the electrode and long-term stability of its efficient catalytic performances.
ACS Nano, 15, 9, 14786–14793, (2021)
Mitrofanovite Pt3Te4: A Topological Metal with Termination-Dependent Surface Band Structure and Strong Spin Polarization
J. Fujii, B. Ghosh, I. Vobornik, A.B. Sarkar, D. Mondal, C.-N. Kuo, F.C. Bocquet, L. Zhang, D.W. Boukhvalov, C.S. Lue, A. Agarwal, and A. Politano
Due to their peculiar quasiparticle excitations, topological metals have high potential for applications in the fields of spintronics, catalysis, and superconductivity. Here, by combining spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy, and density functional theory, we discover surface-termination-dependent topological electronic states in the recently discovered mitrofanovite Pt3Te4. Mitrofanovite crystal is formed by alternating, van der Waals bound layers of Pt2Te2 and PtTe2. Our results demonstrate that mitrofanovite is a topological metal with termination-dependent (i) electronic band structure and (ii) spin texture. Despite their distinct electronic character, both surface terminations are characterized by electronic states exhibiting strong spin polarization with a node at the Γ point and sign reversal across the Γ point, indicating their topological nature and the possibility of realizing two distinct electronic configurations (both of them with topological features) on the surface of the same material.
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NFFA is a Progetto Internazionale financed by MIUR through CNR
(Istituto Officina dei Materiali, Trieste) and Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste
and managed by the Commissione NFFA chaired by Giorgio Rossi
(Università di Milano and IOM-CNR).