Two types of interactions commonly drive new emergent phenomena beyond textbook band theory in solids: electron correlation and spin orbit coupling. The first, born from Mott’s observation that strong electron correlation can drive a system on the verge of being an insulator, has excited the condensed matter community over the past several decades and lies at the core of many unsolved phenomena, such as unconventional superconductivity. The second has been vastly explored in the previous decades in the context of Rashba effect and recently in the context of topological phases of matter.
The real frontier today is to understand whether strongly interacting systems can exhibit any type of intrinsic topological order, distinct from band topology in insulators and what consequences this might have.
In this talk I will present experimental results for a variety of materials spanning a large range of interaction, from strong correlation (Mott insulators), to strong spin orbit coupling (topological insulators). I will present intriguing results on the interplay between these two interactions and how, even in the most extreme case, they can give rise to unexpected topological like features. The future of the field is discussed.