Quantum materials with nontrivial topology are being discovered at an accelerating pace. More often than not, we may find that the material of our interest material has a topological invariant that characterizes it, and robust topological modes dominate its physical responses. In this talk, I will describe how the chemical composition and crystalline symmetry of materials can provide invaluable information about the origin of their topology. I will describe how the spatial embedding of atomic orbitals within a unit cell is consequential in the origin of nontrivial topology. This understanding will inform us about the relevant energy scales that protect the topological character of these materials and invite us to study crystalline defects that do not preserve the unit cell, such as partial lattice dislocations and stacking faults. I will discuss examples of materials with large band inversions that can be traced to the spatial embedding of their atomic orbitals, as well as their protected topological modes at the Fermi level.
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Recordings of Condensed Matter Seminar events can be found on mediaspace: https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/channel/Condensed%2BMatter%2BSeminar%2BTalks%2BFall%2B2021/234020562