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Title: Strain driven topological phase transitions in atomically thin films of group IV and v elements in the honeycomb structures
Authors: Huang, Z.-Q
Hsu, C.-H
Chuang, F.-C 
Liu, Y.-T 
Lin, H 
Su, W.-S
Ozolins, V
Bansil, A 
Keywords: Calculations
Electric insulators
Electronic properties
Electronic structure
Energy gap
Honeycomb structures
Phase diagrams
Quantum Hall effect
Spin Hall effect
First-principles calculation
Quantum Spin hall effect
Spin-orbit couplings
Topological bands
Topological characteristics
Topological insulators
Topological phase
Two Dimensional (2 D)
Tensile strain
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Citation: Huang, Z.-Q, Hsu, C.-H, Chuang, F.-C, Liu, Y.-T, Lin, H, Su, W.-S, Ozolins, V, Bansil, A (2014). Strain driven topological phase transitions in atomically thin films of group IV and v elements in the honeycomb structures. New Journal of Physics 16 : 105018. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: We have investigated topological electronic properties of freestanding bilayers of group IV (C, Si, Ge, Sn, and, Pb) and V (As, Sb, and, Bi) elements of the periodic table in the buckled and planar honeycomb structures under isotropic strain using first-principles calculations. Our focus is on mapping strain driven phase diagrams and identifying topological phase transitions therein as a pathway for guiding search for suitable substrates to grow two-dimensional (2D) topological insulators (TIs) films. Bilayers of group IV elements, excepting Pb, generally transform from trivial metal ? topological metal ? TI ? topological metal ? trivial metal phase with increasing strain from negative (compressive) to positive (tensile) values. Similarly, among the group V elements, As and Sb bilayers transform from trivial metal ? trivial insulator ? TI phase, while Bi transforms from a topological metal to TI phase. The band gap of 0.5 eV in the TI phase of Bi is the largest we found among all bilayers studied, with the band gap increasing further under tensile strain. Differences in the topological characteristics of bilayers of group V elements reflect associated differences in the strength of the spinorbit coupling (SOC). We show, in particular, that the topological band structure of Sb bilayer becomes similar to that of a Bi bilayer when the strength of the SOC in Sb is artificially enhanced by a factor of 4. This study provides the first report that As can be a 2D TI under tensile strain. Notably, we found the existence of TI phases in all elemental bilayers we studied, except Pb. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Source Title: New Journal of Physics
ISSN: 1367-2630
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/10/105018
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