In the discipline of chemistry, it is common to have guidelines and heuristics that help to predict how chemical reactions will proceed. We are interested to expand these heuristics to understand if we can predict topological materials. In this talk, I will show how delocalized chemical bonds in certain structural networks allow us to define chemical descriptors that predict band inversions. Using these descriptors, we found a layered, antiferromagnetic van der Waals material with very high mobility. These properties have previously not coexisted in a material that can be mechanically exfoliated. We further implemented our heuristics to discover novel complex topological phases, including magnetic ones, and phases that are in competition with complex structural distortions. I will show how structural distortions can have a positive effect on topological band structures.
If time allows, I will also briefly discuss the concept of chemical exfoliation. With this method, we can exfoliate materials for which the scotch tape method fails. I will show how we were able to synthesize a new chromium chalcogenide this way, which might be a new 2D magnetic material.
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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%2B2020/178724052