Designer quantum spin Hall phase transition in molecular graphene

Pouyan Ghaemi, Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Taylor L. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graphene was the first material predicted to be a time-reversal-invariant topological insulator; however, the insulating gap is immeasurably small owing to the weakness of spin-orbit interactions in graphene. A recent experiment demonstrated that designer honeycomb lattices with graphenelike "Dirac" band structures can be engineered by depositing a regular array of carbon monoxide atoms on a metallic substrate. Here, we argue that by growing such designer lattices on metals or semiconductors with strong spin-orbit interactions, one can realize an analog of graphene with strong intrinsic spin-orbit coupling, and hence a highly controllable two-dimensional topological insulator. We estimate the range of substrate parameters for which the topological phase is achievable, and consider the experimental feasibility of some candidate substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number201406
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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