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Design and realization of topological Dirac fermions on a triangular lattice

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-25627-y DOI Help

Authors: Maximilian Bauernfeind (Universität Würzburg) , Jonas Erhardt (Universität Würzburg) , Philipp Eck (Universität Würzburg) , Pardeep K. Thakur (Diamond Light Source) , Judith Gabel (Diamond Light Source) , Tien-Lin Lee (Diamond Light Source) , Jörg Schäfer (Universität Würzburg) , Simon Moser (Universität Würzburg) , Domenico Di Sante (Universität Würzburg; University of Bologna; Flatiron Institute) , Ralph Claessen (Universität Würzburg) , Giorgio Sangiovanni (Universität Würzburg)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Communications , VOL 12

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 26419 , 25151

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Large-gap quantum spin Hall insulators are promising materials for room-temperature applications based on Dirac fermions. Key to engineer the topologically non-trivial band ordering and sizable band gaps is strong spin-orbit interaction. Following Kane and Mele’s original suggestion, one approach is to synthesize monolayers of heavy atoms with honeycomb coordination accommodated on templates with hexagonal symmetry. Yet, in the majority of cases, this recipe leads to triangular lattices, typically hosting metals or trivial insulators. Here, we conceive and realize “indenene”, a triangular monolayer of indium on SiC exhibiting non-trivial valley physics driven by local spin-orbit coupling, which prevails over inversion-symmetry breaking terms. By means of tunneling microscopy of the 2D bulk we identify the quantum spin Hall phase of this triangular lattice and unveil how a hidden honeycomb connectivity emerges from interference patterns in Bloch px ± ipy-derived wave functions.

Journal Keywords: Electronic properties and materials; Surfaces, interfaces and thin films; Topological insulators

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis

Added On: 13/09/2021 16:17


Discipline Tags:

Surfaces Quantum Materials Hard condensed matter - electronic properties Physics Electronics Materials Science

Technical Tags:

Diffraction X-ray Standing Wave (XSW)