We prove that curvature effects in low-dimensional nanomaterials can promote the generation of topological states of matter by considering the paradigmatic example of quantum wires with Rashba spin-orbit coupling, which are bent in a nanoscale periodic serpentine structure. The effect of the periodic curvature generally results in the appearance of insulating phases with a corresponding novel butterfly spectrum characterized by the formation of finite measure complex regions of forbidden energies. When the Fermi energy lies in the gaps, the system displays localized end states protected by topology. We further show that for certain superstructure periods the system possesses topologically nontrivial insulating phases at half filling. Our results suggest that the local curvature and the topology of the electronic states are inextricably intertwined in geometrically deformed nanomaterials.

Edge States and Topological Insulating Phases Generated by Curving a Nanowire with Rashba Spin-Orbit Coupling

Gentile, Paola;Cuoco, Mario;Ortix, Carmine
2015-01-01

Abstract

We prove that curvature effects in low-dimensional nanomaterials can promote the generation of topological states of matter by considering the paradigmatic example of quantum wires with Rashba spin-orbit coupling, which are bent in a nanoscale periodic serpentine structure. The effect of the periodic curvature generally results in the appearance of insulating phases with a corresponding novel butterfly spectrum characterized by the formation of finite measure complex regions of forbidden energies. When the Fermi energy lies in the gaps, the system displays localized end states protected by topology. We further show that for certain superstructure periods the system possesses topologically nontrivial insulating phases at half filling. Our results suggest that the local curvature and the topology of the electronic states are inextricably intertwined in geometrically deformed nanomaterials.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4706760
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