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Topological marker currents in Chern insulators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

M. D. Caio, G. Möller, N. R. Cooper, M. J. Bhaseen

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-261
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2019
Accepted/In press3 Dec 2018
E-pub ahead of print14 Jan 2019
Published1 Mar 2019


King's Authors


Topological states of matter exhibit many novel properties due to the presence of robust topological invariants such as the Chern index. These global characteristics pertain to the system as a whole and are not locally defined. However, local topological markers can distinguish between topological phases, and they can vary in space. In equilibrium, we show that the topological marker can be used to extract the critical behaviour of topological phase transitions. Out of equilibrium, we show that the topological marker spreads via a flow of currents emanating from the sample boundaries, and with a bounded maximum propagation speed. We discuss the possibilities for measuring the topological marker and its flow in experiment.

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