Stefano Curtarolo

January 18. 2013  1:00pm GOS A-300  reception to follow in the Atrium


Topological Insulators within the Materials Genome initiative:

robustness/fragility, new materials, and topological quantum devices.



Stefano Curtarolo

Professor of Materials Science and Physics

Director, Center for Materials Genomics

Duke University, USA



Kesong Yang, Shidong Wang (DUKE)

Wahyu Setyawan (PNNL),

Marco Buongiorno Nardelli (Univ. North Texas).



Topological insulators are becoming one of the most studied classes of novel materials because of their great potential for applications ranging from spintronics to quantum computers. To fully integrate TI materials in electronic devices, high-quality epitaxial single crystalline phases with sufficiently large bulk bandgaps are necessary.

Current efforts have relied mostly on costly and time-consuming trial-and-error procedures. In this talk, we show that by defining a reliable and accessible descriptor, which represents the topological robustness or feasibility of the candidate, and by searching the quantum materials repository, we have automatically discovered 28 TIs (some of them already known) in five different symmetry families.

These include peculiar ternary halides, Cs{Sn,Pb,Ge}{Cl,Br,I}3, which could have been hardly anticipated without high-throughput means. The search model, by relying on the significance of repositories in materials development, opens new avenues for the discovery of more TIs in different and unexplored classes of systems.


After studying Electrical Engineering and Physics in Padova, Italy, SC received his PhD in Materials Science from MIT in 2003. Since then, he was faculty of Materials Science and Physics at Duke University. During his time at Duke, SC received the ONR-Young-Investigator, the NSF-Career, and the Presidential PECASE Awards in addition to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics - Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics. SC was promoted to Associate in Oct.2008, to Full Professor in Feb. 2012 and he started the Center for Materials Genomics in July 2012. Currently he has more than 80 refereed publications and more than 120 invited departmental seminars and talks in national and international conferences. At Duke University, the SC's group released the ``on-line ab-initio binary phase diagram database''

containing free energy information for more than 1,500 binary intermetallic alloys ( and the ``high-throughput electronic structure consortium repository''

containing more than 450,000 fully ab-initio electronic characterization for inorganic compounds (