Rashba spin-orbit coupling in the Kane-Mele-Hubbard model

Manuel Laubach, Johannes Reuther, Ronny Thomale, Stephan Rachel
2014 Physical Review B  
Spin-orbit (SO) coupling is the crucial parameter to drive topological insulating phases in electronic band models. In particular, the generic emergence of SO coupling involves the Rashba term which fully breaks the SU(2) spin symmetry. As soon as interactions are taken into account, however, many theoretical studies have to content themselves with the analysis of a simplified U(1) conserving SO term without Rashba coupling. We intend to fill this gap by studying the Kane-Mele-Hubbard (KMH)
more » ... e-Hubbard (KMH) model in the presence of Rashba SO coupling and present the first systematic analysis of the effect of Rashba SO coupling in a correlated two-dimensional topological insulator. We apply the variational cluster approach (VCA) to determine the interacting phase diagram by computing local density of states, magnetization, single particle spectral function, and edge states. Preceded by a detailed VCA analysis of the KMH model in the presence of U(1) conserving SO coupling, we find that the additional Rashba SO coupling drives new electronic phases such as a metallic regime and a direct-gap only topological insulating phase which persist in the presence of interactions.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.90.165136 fatcat:l5e6rwd2ibbabcuykugpy56bpy