Issue 7, 2020

Topological two-dimensional polymers


There are more than 200 two-dimensional (2D) networks with different topologies. The structural topology of a 2D network defines its electronic structure. Including the electronic topological properties, it gives rise to Dirac cones, topological flat bands and topological insulators. In this Tutorial Review, we show how electronic properties of 2D networks can be calculated by means of a tight-binding approach, and how these properties change when 2nd-neighbour interactions and spin–orbit coupling are included. We explain how to determine whether or not the resulting electronic features have topological signatures by calculation of Chern numbers, Z2 invariants, and by the nanoribbon approach. This tutorial gives suggestions how such topological properties could be realized in explicit atomistic chemical 2D systems made of molecular frameworks, in particular in 2D polymers, where the edges and vertices of a given 2D net are substituted by properly selected molecular building blocks and stitched together in such a way that long-range π-conjugation is retained.

Graphical abstract: Topological two-dimensional polymers

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Tutorial Review
20 Dec 2019
First published
24 Mar 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY-NC license

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020,49, 2007-2019

Topological two-dimensional polymers

M. A. Springer, T. Liu, A. Kuc and T. Heine, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020, 49, 2007 DOI: 10.1039/C9CS00893D

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications, without requesting further permission from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given and it is not used for commercial purposes.

To request permission to reproduce material from this article in a commercial publication, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party commercial publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity