Quantum spin Hall effect

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Mar 17;96(10):106802. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.106802. Epub 2006 Mar 14.


The quantum Hall liquid is a novel state of matter with profound emergent properties such as fractional charge and statistics. The existence of the quantum Hall effect requires breaking of the time reversal symmetry caused by an external magnetic field. In this work, we predict a quantized spin Hall effect in the absence of any magnetic field, where the intrinsic spin Hall conductance is quantized in units of 2(e/4pi). The degenerate quantum Landau levels are created by the spin-orbit coupling in conventional semiconductors in the presence of a strain gradient. This new state of matter has many profound correlated properties described by a topological field theory.