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

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257 Scopus citations


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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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