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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Dec 28;109(26):266801. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Giant topological insulator gap in graphene with 5d adatoms.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Two-dimensional topological insulators (2D TIs) have been proposed as platforms for many intriguing applications, ranging from spintronics to topological quantum information processing. Realizing this potential will likely be facilitated by the discovery of new, easily manufactured materials in this class. With this goal in mind, we introduce a new framework for engineering a 2D TI by hybridizing graphene with impurity bands arising from heavy adatoms possessing partially filled d shells, in particular, osmium and iridium. First-principles calculations predict that the gaps generated by this means exceed 0.2 eV over a broad range of adatom coverage; moreover, tuning of the Fermi level is not required to enter the TI state. The mechanism at work is expected to be rather general and may open the door to designing new TI phases in many materials.

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