Unexpected Giant-Gap Quantum Spin Hall Insulator in Chemically Decorated Plumrbene Monolayer. Hui Zhao, Chang-wen Zhang, Wei-xiao Ji, Run-wu Zhang, Sheng-shi Li, Shi-shen Yan, Bao-min Zhang, Ping Li, and Pei-ji Wang, Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 20152 (2 February 2016), doi:10.1038/srep20152
Quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect of two-dimensional (2D) materials features edge states that are topologically protected from backscattering by time-reversal symmetry. However, the major obstacles to the application for QSH effect are the lack of suitable QSH insulators with a large bulk gap. Here, we predict a novel class of 2D QSH insulators in X-decorated plumbene monolayers (PbX; X = H, F, Cl, Br, I) with extraordinarily giant bulk gaps from 1.03 eV to a record value of 1.34 eV. The topological characteristic of PbX mainly originates from s–px,y band inversion related to the lattice symmetry, while the effect of spin-orbital coupling (SOC) is only to open up a giant gap. Their QSH states are identified by nontrivial topological invariant Z2 = 1, as well as a single pair of topologically protected helical edge states locating inside the bulk gap. Noticeably, the QSH gaps of PbX are tunable and robust via external strain. We also propose high-dielectric-constant BN as an ideal substrate for the experimental realization of PbX, maintaining its nontrivial topology. These novel QSH insulators with giant gaps are a promising platform to enrich topological phenomena and expand potential applications at high temperature.