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Condensed Matter > Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics

Title:Topological states in multi-orbital HgTe honeycomb lattices

Abstract: Research on graphene has revealed remarkable phenomena arising in the honeycomb lattice. However, the quantum spin Hall effect predicted at the K point could not be observed in graphene and other honeycomb structures of light elements due to an insufficiently strong spin-orbit coupling. Here we show theoretically that 2D honeycomb lattices of HgTe can combine the effects of the honeycomb geometry and strong spin-orbit coupling. The conduction bands, experimentally accessible via doping, can be described by a tight-binding lattice model as in graphene, but including multi-orbital degrees of freedom and spin-orbit coupling. This results in very large topological gaps (up to 35 meV) and a flattened band detached from the others. Owing to this flat band and the sizable Coulomb interaction, honeycomb structures of HgTe constitute a promising platform for the observation of a fractional Chern insulator or a fractional quantum spin Hall phase.
Comments: includes supplementary material
Subjects: Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics (cond-mat.mes-hall); Materials Science (cond-mat.mtrl-sci)
Journal reference: Nat. Commun. 6:6316 (2015)
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7316
Cite as: arXiv:1503.06066 [cond-mat.mes-hall]
  (or arXiv:1503.06066v1 [cond-mat.mes-hall] for this version)

Submission history

From: W. Beugeling [view email]
[v1] Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:41:46 UTC (3,487 KB)