Topological electronic structure in half-Heusler topological insulators

W. Al-Sawai, Hsin Lin, R. S. Markiewicz, L. A. Wray, Y. Xia, S. Y. Xu, M. Z. Hasan, A. Bansil

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have investigated band structures of a series of 28 ternary half-Heusler compounds M M′ X of MgAgAs type, where M= (Lu,La,Sc,Y) and M′ X= (PtBi,AuPb,PdBi,PtSb,AuSn,NiBi,PdSb). Our results show that the Z2 topological order is due to a single band inversion at the Γ point. In native states, these half-Heusler compounds are identified as being topologically nontrivial semimetals, or nontrivial metals, or trivial insulators, which can be turned into insulating thin films on suitable substrates. Our analysis reveals a straightforward relationship which connects the band inversion strength (extent of deviation from the critical point) to the atomic charge of constituents and the lattice parameter. Our findings suggest a general method for identifying Z2 topological insulators in nonmagnetic ternary compounds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number125208
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Sep 24 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics


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