Isotropic 3D topological phases with broken time reversal symmetry

2024. 05. 24. 10:15
BME building F, seminar room of the Dept. of Theoretical Physics
Dániel Varjas (BME)
Axial vectors, such as current or magnetization, are commonly used order parameters in time-reversal symmetry breaking systems. These vectors also break isotropy in three dimensional systems, lowering the spatial symmetry. We demonstrate [1] that it is possible to construct a fully isotropic and inversion-symmetric three-dimensional medium where time-reversal symmetry is systematically broken. We devise a cubic crystal with scalar time-reversal symmetry breaking, implemented by hopping through chiral magnetic clusters along the crystal bonds. The presence of only the spatial symmetries of the crystal -- finite rotation and inversion symmetry -- is sufficient to protect a topological phase. The realization of this phase in amorphous systems with average continuous rotation symmetry yields a statistical topological insulator phase. We demonstrate the topological nature of our model by constructing a bulk integer topological invariant, which guarantees gapless surface spectrum on any surface with several overlapping Dirac nodes, analogous to crystalline mirror Chern insulators. We also show the expected transport properties of a three-dimensional statistical topological insulator, which remains critical on the surface for odd values of the invariant.
[1]: H Spring, AR Akhmerov, D Varjas, arXiv:2310.18400