Dirac topological insulator in the dz2 manifold of a honeycomb oxide

J. L. Lado, V. Pardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We show by means of ab initio calculations and tight-binding modeling that an oxide system based on a honeycomb lattice can sustain topologically nontrivial states if a single orbital dominates the spectrum close to the Fermi level. In such a situation, the low-energy spectrum is described by two Dirac equations that become nontrivially gapped when spin-orbit coupling (SOC) is switched on. We provide one specific example but the recipe is general. We discuss a realization of this starting from a conventional spin-12 honeycomb antiferromagnet whose states close to the Fermi energy are dz2 orbitals. Switching off magnetism by atomic substitution and ensuring that the electronic structure becomes two-dimensional is sufficient for topologicality to arise in such a system. By deriving a tight-binding Wannier Hamiltonian, we find that the gap in such a model scales linearly with SOC, opposed to other oxide-based topological insulators, where smaller gaps tend to appear by construction of the lattice. We show that the quantum spin Hall state in this system survives in the presence of off-plane magnetism and the orbital magnetic field and we discuss its Landau level spectra, showing that our recipe provides a dz2 realization of the Kane-Mele model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115141
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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