Half-Heusler ternary compounds as new multifunctional experimental platforms for topological quantum phenomena
Topological insulators realize a novel state of quantum matter that are distinguished by topological invariants of bulk band structure rather than spontaneously broken symmetries. A number of exotic quantum phenomena have been predicted to exist in multiply-connected geometries which require an enormous amount of materials flexibility. We have extended our previous search for TI materials from binary (Bi₂X₃ series, Xia et.al., Nature Phys. 5, 398 (2009)) to the thermoelectric ternary compounds. We discover that the distorted LuPtSb is the first ternary compound of the “MM´X” series harboring a 3D topological insulator state with Z₂=-1 whereas TiNiSn is trivial. We also show that the half-Heusler LuPtSb-type series is a natural platform that hosts a range of candidate compounds, alloys and artificial heterostructures (quantum-wells). We also discovered several different paradigms of trivial and non-trivial topological ordering in this class, including an intrinsically metallic nontrivial topological state in YAuPb. Some of these materials are grown (results will be reported separately).
quantum phenomena, quantum matter, topological insulator states, mesoscale and nanoscale physics, ternary compounds
Lin, H.; Wray, L. A.; Xia, Y.; Jia, S.; Cava, R. J.; Bansil, A.; and Hasan, M. Z., "A new platform for topological quantum phenomena : topological Insulator states in thermoelectric Heusler-related ternary compounds" (2010). Physics Faculty Publications. Paper 8. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000361
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