Topological insulators from a chemist's perspective

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 Jul 16;51(29):7221-5. doi: 10.1002/anie.201202480. Epub 2012 Jun 8.


Heavy stuff: Topological insulators are formed of heavy atoms and host special surface or edge states. The electronic structure is characterized by a Dirac cone within a bulk band gap (see picture) that is generated by strong spin-orbit coupling. A chemist's perspective in terms of bonds, bands, symmetry, and nuclear charge is provided.