Topological Quantum Chemistry

An international team of researchers has found a way to determine whether a crystal is a topological insulator — and to predict crystal structures and chemical compositions in which new ones can arise. The results, published July 20 in the journal Nature, show that topological insulators are much more common in nature than currently believed.

Topological materials, which hold promise for a wide range of technological applications due to their exotic electronic properties, have attracted a great deal of theoretical and experimental interest over the past decade, culminating in the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics. The materials' electronic properties include the ability of current to flow without resistance and to respond in unconventional ways to electric and magnetic fields.
Until now, however, the discovery of new topological materials occurred mainly by trial and error. The new approach described this week allows researchers to identify a large series of potential new topological insulators. The research represents a fundamental advance in the physics of topological materials and changes the way topological properties are understood.

More Information: here

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