Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy; Materials Science and Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Ames Laboratory
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Topological quantum states require stringent combination of crystal symmetry and spin–orbit coupling (SOC) strength. Here, we report that the ternary Zintl compound series BaCaX (X = Si, Ge, Sn and Pb, Group IV) in the same crystal structure having eight valence electrons per formula unit can host two different topological quantum phases, controlled by atomic size and SOC strength. BaCaSi is a nodal-line semimetal (NLSM) with band inversion protected by mirror symmetry and hosts a strong topological insulator (TI) state when SOC is turned on, thus, a NLSM-TI phase. Moving to larger atomic sizes and heavier atoms, BaCaGe and BaCaSn are normal insulators (NIs); then, with the strongest SOC in BaCaPb, a different band inversion is induced, giving a strong TI phase without the need of NLSM. Thus, we also predict two types of topological transitions in a phase diagram for BaCaX: (1) NLSM-TI to NI, then to TI by tuning atomic size and SOC strength via alloying, and (2) NI or TI to NLSM-TI via pressure.
DOE Contract Number(s)
Department of Energy Subject Categories
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)