Nano Research

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 1032–1042 | Cite as

Indentation fracture toughness of single-crystal Bi2Te3 topological insulators

  • Caterina LamutaEmail author
  • Anna Cupolillo
  • Antonio Politano
  • Ziya S. Aliev
  • Mahammad B. Babanly
  • Evgueni V. Chulkov
  • Leonardo Pagnotta
Research Article


Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) is one of the most important commercial thermoelectric materials. In recent years, the discovery of topologically protected surface states in Bi chalcogenides has paved the way for their application in nanoelectronics. Determination of the fracture toughness plays a crucial role for the potential application of topological insulators in flexible electronics and nanoelectromechanical devices. Using depth-sensing nanoindentation tests, we investigated for the first time the fracture toughness of bulk single crystals of Bi2Te3 topological insulators, grown using the Bridgman-Stockbarger method. Our results highlight one of the possible pitfalls of the technology based on topological insulators.


topological insulators bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3fracture toughness nanoindentation 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Lamuta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Cupolillo
    • 2
  • Antonio Politano
    • 2
  • Ziya S. Aliev
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mahammad B. Babanly
    • 3
  • Evgueni V. Chulkov
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Leonardo Pagnotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management EngineeringUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Catalysis and Inorganic Chemistry, ANASBakuAzerbaijian
  4. 4.Institute of Physics, ANASBakuAzerbaijian
  5. 5.Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC)San Sebastián/DonostiaSpain
  6. 6.Departamento de Fisica de MaterialesUniversidad del Pais VascoSan Sebastián/DonostiaSpain
  7. 7.Centro de Fisica de Materiales CFM-Materials Physics Center MPC, Centro Mixto CSIC-UPV/EHUSan Sebastián/DonostiaSpain
  8. 8.Saint Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussian Federation
  9. 9.Tomsk State UniversityTomskRussian Federation

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