Topological materials discovery from crystal symmetry

Benjamin J. Wieder, Barry Bradlyn, Jennifer Cano, Zhijun Wang, Maia G. Vergniory, Luis Elcoro, Alexey A. Soluyanov, Claudia Felser, Titus Neupert, Nicolas Regnault, B. Andrei Bernevig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Topological materials discovery has evolved at a rapid pace over the past 15 years following the identification of the first nonmagnetic topological insulators (TIs), topological crystalline insulators (TCIs) and 3D topological semimetals (TSMs). Most recently, through complete analyses of symmetry-allowed band structures — including the theory of topological quantum chemistry (TQC) — researchers have determined crystal-symmetry-enhanced Wilson-loop and complete symmetry-based indicators for nonmagnetic topological phases, leading to the discovery of higher-order TCIs and TSMs. The recent application of TQC and related methods to high-throughput materials discovery has revealed that over half of the known stoichiometric, solid-state, nonmagnetic materials are topological at the Fermi level, over 85 per cent of the known stoichiometric materials host energetically isolated topological bands, and just under two-thirds of the energetically isolated bands in known materials carry the stable topology of a TI or TCI. In this Review, we survey topological electronic materials discovery in nonmagnetic crystalline solids from the prediction of the first 2D and 3D TIs to the recently introduced methods that have facilitated large-scale searches for topological materials. We also discuss future venues for the identification and manipulation of solid-state topological phases, including charge-density-wave compounds, magnetic materials, and 2D few-layer devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-216
Number of pages21
JournalNature Reviews Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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