Persistence of phase boundaries between a topological and trivial Z 2 insulator

Zohar Ringel, Ehud Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When time-reversal symmetry is present there is a sharp distinction between topological and trivial band insulators which ensures that, as parameters are varied, these phases are separated by a phase transition at which the bulk gap closes. Surprisingly we find that even in the absence of time-reversal symmetry, gapless regions originating from the phase boundaries persist. Moreover, the critical line generically opens up to enclose Chern insulating phases that are thin but of finite extent in the phase diagram. We explain the topological origin of this effect in terms of quantized charge pumping, showing in particular that it is robust to the effect of disorder and interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035115
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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