Topological insulators

Topological insulators are materials that are insulating in their interior but can support the flow of electrons on their surface. The underlying cause is time-reversal symmetry: their physics is independent of whether time is flowing backward or forward. These surface states are robust, maintained even in the presence of surface defects.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    A prediction of the existence of trapped acoustic-gravity waves in stratified fluids provides a platform for probing topological phenomena in the lab—with possible implications for astrophysical and geophysical flows.

    • Manolis Perrot
    • , Pierre Delplace
    •  & Antoine Venaille
  • Research | | open

    The superconducting proximity effect on the surface state of a topological insulator is promising to generate topological superconductivity. Here, Yasuda et al. reported enhanced nonreciprocal charge transport in a Bi2Te3/FeTe heterostructure with an emerging superconducting order parameter.

    • Kenji Yasuda
    • , Hironori Yasuda
    • , Tian Liang
    • , Ryutaro Yoshimi
    • , Atsushi Tsukazaki
    • , Kei S. Takahashi
    • , Naoto Nagaosa
    • , Masashi Kawasaki
    •  & Yoshinori Tokura
  • Research |

    Perfect transmission of electrons through a finite potential barrier between a normal metal and a topological superconducting state is demonstrated, as evidenced by an exact doubling of conductance in point contact measurements.

    • Seunghun Lee
    • , Valentin Stanev
    • , Xiaohang Zhang
    • , Drew Stasak
    • , Jack Flowers
    • , Joshua S. Higgins
    • , Sheng Dai
    • , Thomas Blum
    • , Xiaoqing Pan
    • , Victor M. Yakovenko
    • , Johnpierre Paglione
    • , Richard L. Greene
    • , Victor Galitski
    •  & Ichiro Takeuchi
    Nature 570, 344-348
  • Research | | open

    The still-developing understanding of topologically non-trivial phases of matter has led to new mechanisms for unconventional many-body behaviour. Here the authors present a model where the symmetry needed for a symmetry-protected topological phase only emerges after the formation of long-range order.

    • Daniel González-Cuadra
    • , Alejandro Bermudez
    • , Przemysław R. Grzybowski
    • , Maciej Lewenstein
    •  & Alexandre Dauphin
  • Research | | open

    Deconfined quantum critical points separate two phases with different broken symmetries, which puts them beyond the standard Landau theory of phase transitions. Here the authors present a model with a monopole-free deconfined quantum critical point, making it more amenable to detailed numerical studies.

    • Yuhai Liu
    • , Zhenjiu Wang
    • , Toshihiro Sato
    • , Martin Hohenadler
    • , Chong Wang
    • , Wenan Guo
    •  & Fakher F. Assaad

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Higher-order topological acoustic metamaterials on kagome lattices, which host topologically protected corner states, can confine sound at corners. This may lead to applications of acoustic metamaterials in local acoustic field enhancement, trapping and manipulating of particles, and acoustic sensing and probing.

    • Zhengyou Liu
    Nature Materials 18, 98-99
  • News and Views |

    A nanofabricated twisted topological waveguide on silicon platform enables robust guiding of light at telecommunication wavelength.

    • Sabyasachi Barik
    •  & Mohammad Hafezi
  • News and Views |

    Magnetization in magnetoresistive memory devices can be controlled at room temperature by spin–orbit torques originating from the surface states of topological insulators.

    • Chi-Feng Pai
    Nature Materials 17, 755-757
  • News and Views |

    Recent experiments demonstrate that effects arising from quantum geometrical phases and band structure topology can coexist in two-dimensional materials, and can be addressed via optoelectronic experiments.

    • Alexander W. Holleitner
    •  & Paul B. Seifert
    Nature Physics 14, 879-880