Volume 113, Number 6, March 2016
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||13 April 2016|
Prediction of silicon-based room temperature quantum spin Hall insulator via orbital mixing
1 Beijing National Lab for Condensed Matter Physics & Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100190, China
2 Department of Physics, Tsinghua University - Beijing 100084, China
3 Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter - Beijing 100190, China
(a) Present address: Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences - P.O. Box 603, Beijing 100190, China; firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 3 November 2015
Accepted: 29 March 2016
The search for realistic materials capable of supporting the room temperature quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect remains a challenge, especially when compatibility with the current electronics industry is required. We report a theoretical prediction to identify halogenated silicon films as excellent candidates, which demonstrate high stability, flexibility, and tunable spin-orbit coupling (SOC) gaps up to ∼0.5 eV under minimal strain below 3%. The extraordinary SOC strength is mainly contributed by the p-orbital of heavy halogen atoms hybridized with the px,y-orbitals of Si scaffold, and thus can be easily manipulated by strain (being ∼100 times more effective than in silicene) or substrate. Not only the instability problem of silicene for real applications is solved, but also it provides a new strategy to drastically enhance SOC of light-element scaffolds by orbital hybridization. The silicon-based QSH insulator is most promising for developing next-generation, low-power consumption nanoelectronics and spintronics at ambient conditions.
PACS: 73.22.-f – Electronic structure of nanoscale materials and related systems / 71.70.Ej – Spin-orbit coupling, Zeeman and Stark splitting, Jahn-Teller effect
© EPLA, 2016
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