We present a theoretical realization of quantum spin and quantum valley Hall effects in silicene. We show that combination of an electric field and intrinsic spin-orbit interaction leads to quantum phase transitions at the charge neutrality point. This phase transition from a two dimensional topological insulator to a trivial insulating state is accompanied by a quenching of the quantum spin Hall effect and the onset of a quantum valley Hall effect, providing a tool to experimentally tune the topological state of silicene. In contrast to graphene and other conventional topological insulators, the proposed effects in silicene are accessible to experiments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)