Topological insulators in ternary compounds with a honeycomb lattice

Hai Jun Zhang, Stanislav Chadov, Lukas Müchler, Binghai Yan, Xiao Liang Qi, Jürgen Kübler, Shou Cheng Zhang, Claudia Felser

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93 Scopus citations


We investigate a new class of ternary materials such as LiAuSe and KHgSb with a honeycomb structure in Au-Se and Hg-Sb layers. We demonstrate the band inversion in these materials similar to HgTe, which is a strong precondition for existence of the topological surface states. In contrast with graphene, these materials exhibit strong spin-orbit coupling and a small direct band gap at the Γ point. Since these materials are centrosymmetric, it is straightforward to determine the parity of their wave functions, and hence their topological character. Surprisingly, the compound with strong spin-orbit coupling (KHgSb) is trivial, whereas LiAuSe is found to be a topological insulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number156402
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 11 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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