Starting in 2004, theorists began to explore the effect of topology on the physics of band insulators, a field previously considered well understood. However, the inclusion of topology brings key new elements into this old field. Whereas it was thought that all band insulators are essentially equivalent, the new theory predicts two distinct classes of band insulators in two spatial dimensions and 16 classes in three dimensions. These "topological" insulators exhibit a host of unusual physical properties, including topologically protected gapless surface states and exotic electromagnetic response, previously thought impossible in such systems.
Within a short time, this new state of quantum matter, topological insulators, has been discovered experimentally both in 2D thin film structures and in 3D crystals and alloys. It appears that topological insulators are quite common in nature, and there are dozens of confirmed substances that exhibit this behavior. Theoretical and experimental studies of these materials are ongoing with the goal of attaining the fundamental understanding and exploiting them in future practical applications.Usable as a textbook for graduate students and as a reference resource for professionalsIncludes the most recent discoveries and visions for future technological applicationsAll authors are prominent in the field
This new edition presents a unified description of these insulators from one to three dimensions based on the modified Dirac equation. It derives a series of solutions of the bound states near the boundary, and describes the current status of these solutions. Readers are introduced to topological invariants and their applications to a variety of systems from one-dimensional polyacetylene, to two-dimensional quantum spin Hall effect and p-wave superconductors, three-dimensional topological insulators and superconductors or superfluids, and topological Weyl semimetals, helping them to better understand this fascinating field.
To reflect research advances in topological insulators, several parts of the book have been updated for the second edition, including: Spin-Triplet Superconductors, Superconductivity in Doped Topological Insulators, Detection of Majorana Fermions and so on. In particular, the book features a new chapter on Weyl semimetals, a topic that has attracted considerable attention and has already become a new hotpot of research in the community.
The realization of the application potential of topological insulators requires a comprehensive and deep understanding of transport processes in these novel materials. This book explores the origin of the protected Dirac-like states in topological insulators and gives an insight into some of their representative transport properties. These include the quantum spin–Hall effect, nonlocal edge transport, backscattering of helical edge and surface states, weak antilocalization, unconventional triplet p-wave superconductivity, topological bound states, and emergent Majorana fermions in Josephson junctions as well as superconducting Klein tunneling.