Topological insulator (TI), a promising quantum and semiconductor material, has gapless surface state and narrow bulk band gap. Firstly, the properties, classifications and compounds of TI are introduced. Secondly, the preparation and doping of TI are assessed. Some results are listed. (1) Although various preparation methods are used to improve the crystal quality of the TI, it cannot reach the industrialization. Fermi level regulation still faces challenges; (2) The carrier type and lattice of TI are affected by non-magnetic impurities. The most promising property is the superconductivity at low temperature; (3) Magnetic impurities can destroy the time-reversal symmetry of the TI surface, which opens the band gap on the TI surface resulting in some novel physical effects such as quantum anomalous Hall effect (QAHE). Thirdly, this paper summarizes various applications of TI including photodetector, magnetic device, field-effect transistor (FET), laser, and so on. Furthermore, many of their parameters are compared based on TI and some common materials. It is found that TI-based devices exhibit excellent performance, but some parameters such as signal to noise ratio (S/N) are still lower than other materials. Finally, its advantages, challenges and future prospects are discussed. Overall, this paper provides an opportunity to improve crystal quality, doping regulation and application of TI.
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