Topological Anderson insulators in systems without time-reversal symmetry

Ying Su, Y. Avishai, X. R. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Occurrence of the topological Anderson insulator (TAI) in a HgTe quantum well suggests that when time-reversal symmetry (TRS) is maintained, the pertinent topological phase transition, marked by re-entrant 2e2/h quantized conductance contributed by helical edge states, is driven by disorder. Here we show that when TRS is broken, the physics of the TAI becomes even richer. The pattern of longitudinal conductance and nonequilibrium local current distribution displays novel TAI phases characterized by nonzero Chern numbers, indicating the occurrence of multiple chiral edge modes. Tuning either disorder or Fermi energy (in both topologically trivial and nontrivial phases), drives transitions between these distinct TAI phases, characterized by jumps of the quantized conductance from 0 to e2/h and from e2/h to 2e2/h. An effective medium theory based on the Born approximation yields an accurate description of different TAI phases in parameter space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214206
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number21
StatePublished - 27 Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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