Westudy the possibility of pressure-induced transitions from a normal semiconductor to a topological insulator (TI) in bismuth tellurohalides using density functional theory and tight-binding method. In BiTeI this transition is realized through the formation of an intermediate phase, a Weyl semimetal, that leads to modification of surface state dispersions. In the topologically trivial phase, the
surface states exhibit a Bychkov–Rashba type dispersion. The Weyl semimetal phase exists in a narrow pressure interval of 0.2 GPa. After the Weyl semimetal–TI transition occurs, the surface electronic structure is characterized by gapless states with linear dispersion. The peculiarities of the surface states modification under pressure depend on the band-bending effect.Wehave also calculated the frequencies of Raman active modes for BiTeI in the proposed high-pressure crystal phases in order to compare them with available experimental data. Unlike BiTeI, in BiTeBr and BiTeCl the topological phase transition does not occur. In BiTeBr, the crystal structure changes with pressure but the phase remains a trivial one. However, the transition ap ... mehrpears to be possible if the low-pressure crystal structure is retained. In BiTeCl under pressure, the topological phase does not appear up to 18 GPa due to a relatively large band gap width in this compound.