The quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect is the property of a new state of matter which preserves time reversal, has an energy gap in the bulk, but has topologically robust gapless states at the edge. Recently, the QSH state has been theoretically predicted and experimentally observed in HgTe quantum wells. In this work, we start from realistic tight-binding models and demonstrate the existence of the helical edge states in HgTe quantum wells and calculate their physical properties. We also show that three-dimensional HgTe is a topological insulator under uniaxial strain and show that the surface states are described by single-component massless relativistic Dirac fermions in 2+1 dimensions. Experimental predictions are made based on the quantitative results obtained from realistic calculations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Mar 14 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics