Quantum spin Hall effect in graphene

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Nov 25;95(22):226801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.226801. Epub 2005 Nov 23.


We study the effects of spin orbit interactions on the low energy electronic structure of a single plane of graphene. We find that in an experimentally accessible low temperature regime the symmetry allowed spin orbit potential converts graphene from an ideal two-dimensional semimetallic state to a quantum spin Hall insulator. This novel electronic state of matter is gapped in the bulk and supports the transport of spin and charge in gapless edge states that propagate at the sample boundaries. The edge states are nonchiral, but they are insensitive to disorder because their directionality is correlated with spin. The spin and charge conductances in these edge states are calculated and the effects of temperature, chemical potential, Rashba coupling, disorder, and symmetry breaking fields are discussed.