skip to main content


Title: Two-dimensional topological insulators with tunable band gaps: Single-layer HgTe and HgSe

Here, we report that two-dimensional (2D) topological insulators (TIs) with large band gaps are of great importance for the future applications of quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect. Employing ab initio electronic calculations we propose a novel type of 2D topological insulators, the monolayer (ML) low-buckled (LB) mercury telluride (HgTe) and mercury selenide (HgSe), with tunable band gap. We demonstrate that LB HgTe (HgSe) monolayers undergo a trivial insulator to topological insulator transition under in-plane tensile strain of 2.6% (3.1%) due to the combination of the strain and the spin orbital coupling (SOC) effects. Furthermore, the band gaps can be tuned up to large values (0.2 eV for HgTe and 0.05 eV for HgSe) by tensile strain, which far exceed those of current experimentally realized 2D quantum spin Hall insulators. Our results suggest a new type of material suitable for practical applications of 2D TI at room-temperature.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Xiangtan Univ., Hunan (People's Republic of China)
  2. California State Univ., Northridge, CA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
DMR-1205734; 11404275; 11474244; 4040204; 11204261; 11304264; 11204260; IRT13093; 2012CB921303; 2015CB921103; AC05-00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; topological insulators; two-dimensional materials
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1265987