Catalogue of topological electronic materials

Nature. 2019 Feb;566(7745):475-479. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0944-6. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Topological electronic materials such as bismuth selenide, tantalum arsenide and sodium bismuthide show unconventional linear response in the bulk, as well as anomalous gapless states at their boundaries. They are of both fundamental and applied interest, with the potential for use in high-performance electronics and quantum computing. But their detection has so far been hindered by the difficulty of calculating topological invariant properties (or topological nodes), which requires both experience with materials and expertise with advanced theoretical tools. Here we introduce an effective, efficient and fully automated algorithm that diagnoses the nontrivial band topology in a large fraction of nonmagnetic materials. Our algorithm is based on recently developed exhaustive mappings between the symmetry representations of occupied bands and topological invariants. We sweep through a total of 39,519 materials available in a crystal database, and find that as many as 8,056 of them are topologically nontrivial. All results are available and searchable in a database with an interactive user interface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't