Topological Insulators

Lukas Müchler, Binghai Yan, Frederick Casper, Stanislav Chadov, Claudia Felser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


The recent discovery of a new class of materials, the so-called topological insulators [1–5]. has generated a great interest in the fields of condensed matter physics and materials science [1]. In principle, according to their band structure, compounds can be divided into metals and insulators. Recently a new class of the so-called topological states has emerged, the Quantum Spin Hall (QSH) state in two and three dimensions. The respective materials are called "topological insulators". The 3D topological insulators have a full insulating gap in the bulk, but a topological protected gapless surface or edge states on the boundary [6–8]. Additionally the 2D topological insulators (e.g. HgTe [9, 10], are metallic in the bulk, but can be designed as topological insulators in quantum well structures with a trivial semiconductors such as CdTe. A topological insulator can easily be identified by a few simple rules: the presents of a large spin orbit coupling, an odd number of band inversions between the conduction and the valence band by increasing the average nuclear charge, and a sign change of the symmetry of the molecular orbitals [11]. Similiar features are favorable for thermoelectric properties, thus topological insulators may be good thermoelectric materials and vice versa. Here we present a short introduction to topological insulators and give examples of compound classes where both topological insulators and good thermoelectric properties can be found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Series in Materials Science
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Materials Science
ISSN (Print)0933-033X
ISSN (Electronic)2196-2812

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Topological Insulators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this