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Novel Family of Chiral-Based Topological Insulators: Elemental Tellurium under Strain

Author(s): Agapito, Luis A; Kioussis, Nicholas; Goddard, William A; Ong, Nai Phuan

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Abstract: Employing ab initio electronic structure calculations, we predict that trigonal tellurium consisting of weakly interacting helical chains undergoes a trivial insulator to strong topological insulator (metal) transition under shear (hydrostatic or uniaxial) strain. The transition is demonstrated by examining the strain evolution of the band structure, the topological Z(2) invariant and the concomitant band inversion. The underlying mechanism is the depopulation of the lone-pair orbitals associated with the valence band via proper strain engineering. Thus, Te becomes the prototype of a novel family of chiral-based three-dimensional topological insulators with important implications in spintronics, magneto-optics, and thermoelectrics. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.176401
Publication Date: 26-Apr-2013
Electronic Publication Date: 24-Apr-2013
Citation: Agapito, Luis A, Kioussis, Nicholas, Goddard, William A, Ong, NP. (2013). Novel Family of Chiral-Based Topological Insulators: Elemental Tellurium under Strain. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 110 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.176401
DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.176401
ISSN: 0031-9007
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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