American Chemical Society
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Large-Gap Quantum Spin Hall State in MXenes: d‑Band Topological Order in a Triangular Lattice

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-09-13, 00:00 authored by Chen Si, Kyung-Hwan Jin, Jian Zhou, Zhimei Sun, Feng Liu
MXenes are a large family of two-dimensional (2D) early transition metal carbides that have shown great potential for a host of applications ranging from electrodes in supercapacitors and batteries to sensors to reinforcements in polymers. Here, on the basis of first-principles calculations, we predict that Mo2MC2O2 (M = Ti, Zr, or Hf), belonging to a recently discovered new class of MXenes with double transition metal elements in an ordered structure, are robust quantum spin Hall (QSH) insulators. A tight-binding (TB) model based on the dz2-, dxy-, and dx2y2-orbital basis in a triangular lattice is also constructed to describe the QSH states in Mo2MC2O2. It shows that the atomic spin–orbit coupling (SOC) strength of M totally contributes to the topological gap at the Γ point, a useful feature advantageous over the usual cases where the topological gap is much smaller than the atomic SOC strength based on the classic Kane–Mele (KM) or Bernevig–Hughes–Zhang (BHZ) model. Consequently, Mo2MC2O2 show sizable gaps from 0.1 to 0.2 eV with different M atoms, sufficiently large for realizing room-temperature QSH effects. Another advantage of Mo2MC2O2 MXenes lies in their oxygen-covered surfaces which make them antioxidative and stable upon exposure to air.