1D topological phases in transition-metal monochalcogenide nanowires†
The Su–Schrieffer–Heeger (SSH) model is a prototypical one-dimensional (1D) diatomic lattice model for non-trivial topological phases and topological excitations. Theoretically, many variations and extensions of the SSH model have been proposed and explored to better understand the novel aspects of topological physics in low dimensions on the nanoscale. However, the outstanding challenge remains to find real nanomaterials with robust structural stability for realizing the 1D topological states. Here, we develop an extended version of the SSH model with multi-atomic bases of four, six and eight atoms and an imposed screw rotation symmetry. Furthermore, based on first-principles calculations, we demonstrate the realization of this model in transition metal monochalcogenide M6X6 (M = Mo and W; X = S, Se and Te) nanowires. The topological features of the doped M6X6 nanowires are confirmed with non-trivial edge modes and e/2 fractional charges, representative of the 1D non-trivial Zak phase. Our finding not only sheds new light on our fundamental understanding of 1D topological physics, but also significantly extends the scope of 1D topological materials that will attract immediate experimental interest, since isolated M6X6 nanowires have already been synthesized in experiments.