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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Apr 15;106(15):156402. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Topological insulators in ternary compounds with a honeycomb lattice.

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Department of Physics, McCullough Building, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-404531, USA.


We investigate a new class of ternary materials such as LiAuSe and KHgSb with a honeycomb structure in Au-Se and Hg-Sb layers. We demonstrate the band inversion in these materials similar to HgTe, which is a strong precondition for existence of the topological surface states. In contrast with graphene, these materials exhibit strong spin-orbit coupling and a small direct band gap at the Γ point. Since these materials are centrosymmetric, it is straightforward to determine the parity of their wave functions, and hence their topological character. Surprisingly, the compound with strong spin-orbit coupling (KHgSb) is trivial, whereas LiAuSe is found to be a topological insulator.

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