Non-trivial topological valence bands of common diamond and zinc-blende semiconductors

10 Apr 2019  ·  Rauch Tomáš, Rogalev Victor A., Bauernfeind Maximilian, Maklar Julian, Reis Felix, Adler Florian, Moser Simon, Weis Johannes, Lee Tien-Lin, Thakur Pardeep K., Schäfer Jörg, Claessen Ralph, Henk Jürgen, Mertig Ingrid ·

The diamond and zinc-blende semiconductors are well-known and have been widely studied for decades. Yet, their electronic structure still surprises with unexpected topological properties of the valence bands... In this joint theoretical and experimental investigation we demonstrate for the benchmark compounds InSb and GaAs that the electronic structure features topological surface states below the Fermi energy. Our parity analysis shows that the spin-orbit split-off band near the valence band maximum exhibits a strong topologically non-trivial behavior characterized by the $\mathcal{Z}_2$ invariants $(1;000)$. The non-trivial character emerges instantaneously with non-zero spin-orbit coupling, in contrast to the conventional topological phase transition mechanism. \textit{Ab initio}-based tight-binding calculations resolve topological surface states in the occupied electronic structure of InSb and GaAs, further confirmed experimentally by soft X-ray angle-resolved photoemission from both materials. Our findings are valid for all other materials whose valence bands are adiabatically linked to those of InSb, i.e., many diamond and zinc-blende semiconductors, as well as other related materials, such as half-Heusler compounds. read more

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Materials Science