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Publication# Complementary screening for quantum spin Hall insulators in two-dimensional exfoliable materials

Abstract

Quantum spin Hall insulators are a class of topological materials that has been extensively studied during the past decade. One of their distinctive features is the presence of a finite band gap in the bulk and gapless, topologically protected edge states that are spin-momentum locked. These materials are characterized by a Z(2) topological order where, in the two-dimensional case, a single topological invariant can be even or odd for a trivial or a topological material, respectively. Thanks to their interesting properties, such as the realization of dissipationless spin currents, spin pumping, and spin filtering, they are of great interest in the field of electronics, spintronics, and quantum computing. In this work we perform a high-throughput screening of quantum spin Hall insulators starting from a set of 783 two-dimensional exfoliable materials, recently identified from a systematic screening of the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database, Crystallography Open Database, and Materials Platform for Data Science databases. We find four Z(2) topological insulators and seven direct gap metals that have the potential of becoming quantum spin Hall insulators under a reasonably weak external perturbation.

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Ontological neighbourhood

Topological insulator

A topological insulator is a material whose interior behaves as an electrical insulator while its surface behaves as an electrical conductor, meaning that electrons can only move along the surface of the material. A topological insulator is an insulator for the same reason a "trivial" (ordinary) insulator is: there exists an energy gap between the valence and conduction bands of the material. But in a topological insulator, these bands are, in an informal sense, "twisted", relative to a trivial insulator.

Topological order

In physics, topological order is a kind of order in the zero-temperature phase of matter (also known as quantum matter). Macroscopically, topological order is defined and described by robust ground state degeneracy and quantized non-Abelian geometric phases of degenerate ground states. Microscopically, topological orders correspond to patterns of long-range quantum entanglement. States with different topological orders (or different patterns of long range entanglements) cannot change into each other without a phase transition.

Topological quantum computer

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