An insulator differs from a metal because of a different organization of the electrons in their ground state. In recent years this feature has been probed by means of a geometrical property, the quantum metric tensor, which addresses the system as a whole, and is therefore limited to macroscopically homogenous samples. Here we show that an analogous approach leads to a localization marker, which can detect the metallic versus insulating character of a given sample region using as the sole ingredient the ground state electron distribution, even in the Anderson case (where the spectrum is gapless). When applied to an insulator with a nonzero Chern invariant, our marker is capable of discriminating the insulating nature of the bulk from the conducting nature of the boundary. Simulations (both model Hamiltonian and first principles) on several test cases validate our theory.

Local Theory of the Insulating State

Marrazzo A.
;
Resta R.
2019-01-01

Abstract

An insulator differs from a metal because of a different organization of the electrons in their ground state. In recent years this feature has been probed by means of a geometrical property, the quantum metric tensor, which addresses the system as a whole, and is therefore limited to macroscopically homogenous samples. Here we show that an analogous approach leads to a localization marker, which can detect the metallic versus insulating character of a given sample region using as the sole ingredient the ground state electron distribution, even in the Anderson case (where the spectrum is gapless). When applied to an insulator with a nonzero Chern invariant, our marker is capable of discriminating the insulating nature of the bulk from the conducting nature of the boundary. Simulations (both model Hamiltonian and first principles) on several test cases validate our theory.
2019
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https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.166602
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2988313
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