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      Observation of a large-gap topological-insulator class with a single Dirac cone on the surface

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          Generalized Gradient Approximation Made Simple

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            The rise of graphene.

            Graphene is a rapidly rising star on the horizon of materials science and condensed-matter physics. This strictly two-dimensional material exhibits exceptionally high crystal and electronic quality, and, despite its short history, has already revealed a cornucopia of new physics and potential applications, which are briefly discussed here. Whereas one can be certain of the realness of applications only when commercial products appear, graphene no longer requires any further proof of its importance in terms of fundamental physics. Owing to its unusual electronic spectrum, graphene has led to the emergence of a new paradigm of 'relativistic' condensed-matter physics, where quantum relativistic phenomena, some of which are unobservable in high-energy physics, can now be mimicked and tested in table-top experiments. More generally, graphene represents a conceptually new class of materials that are only one atom thick, and, on this basis, offers new inroads into low-dimensional physics that has never ceased to surprise and continues to provide a fertile ground for applications.
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              Quantum Spin Hall Insulator State in HgTe Quantum Wells

              Recent theory predicted that the quantum spin Hall effect, a fundamentally new quantum state of matter that exists at zero external magnetic field, may be realized in HgTe/(Hg,Cd)Te quantum wells. We fabricated such sample structures with low density and high mobility in which we could tune, through an external gate voltage, the carrier conduction from n-type to p-type, passing through an insulating regime. For thin quantum wells with well width d 6.3 nanometers), the nominally insulating regime showed a plateau of residual conductance close to 2e(2)/h, where e is the electron charge and h is Planck's constant. The residual conductance was independent of the sample width, indicating that it is caused by edge states. Furthermore, the residual conductance was destroyed by a small external magnetic field. The quantum phase transition at the critical thickness, d = 6.3 nanometers, was also independently determined from the magnetic field-induced insulator-to-metal transition. These observations provide experimental evidence of the quantum spin Hall effect.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Physics
                Nature Phys
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1745-2473
                1745-2481
                June 2009
                May 10 2009
                June 2009
                : 5
                : 6
                : 398-402
                Article
                10.1038/nphys1274
                © 2009

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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