We analyze the phase diagram of multilayer-graphene sandwiched between identical transition metal dichalcogenides. Recently realized in all van-der-Wall heterostructures, these sandwiches induce sizable (1-15 meV) spin orbit coupling in the graphene, offering a way to engineer topological band-structures in a pristine and gate-tunable platform. We find a rich phase diagram that depends on the number of layers $N$ and the gate-tunable perpendicular electric field. For $N > 1$ and odd, the system is a strong 2D topological insulator with a gap equal to the strength of proximity-induced Ising spin-orbit coupling, which reverts to a trivial phase at moderate electric fields. For $N$-even, the low energy bands exhibit a recently proposed form of “fragile” crystalline topology, as well as electric-field tuned symmetry-protected phase transitions between distinct atomic insulators. Hence AB-stacked bilayer and ABC-stacked trilayer graphene are predicted to provide controllable experimental realizations of fragile and strong topology.

Published : "arXiv Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics".