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Fermionic defects of topological phases and logical gates

Ryohei Kobayashi

SciPost Phys. 15, 028 (2023) · published 25 July 2023


We discuss the codimension-1 defects of (2+1)D bosonic topological phases, where the defects can support fermionic degrees of freedom. We refer to such defects as fermionic defects, and introduce a certain subclass of invertible fermionic defects called "gauged Gu-Wen SPT defects" that can shift self-statistics of anyons. We derive a canonical form of a general fermionic invertible defect, in terms of the fusion of a gauged Gu-Wen SPT defect and a bosonic invertible defect decoupled from fermions on the defect. We then derive the fusion rule of generic invertible fermionic defects. The gauged Gu-Wen SPT defects give rise to interesting logical gates of stabilizer codes in the presence of additional ancilla fermions. For example, we find a realization of the CZ logical gate on the (2+1)D $\mathbb{Z}_2$ toric code stacked with a (2+1)D ancilla trivial atomic insulator. We also investigate a gapped fermionic interface between (2+1)D bosonic topological phases realized on the boundary of the (3+1)D Walker-Wang model. In that case, the gapped interface can shift the chiral central charge of the (2+1)D phase. Among these fermionic interfaces, we study an interesting example where the (3+1)D phase has a spatial reflection symmetry, and the fermionic interface is supported on a reflection plane that interpolates a (2+1)D surface topological order and its orientation-reversal. We construct a (3+1)D exactly solvable Hamiltonian realizing this setup, and find that the model generates the $\mathbb{Z}_8$ classification of the (3+1)D invertible phase with spatial reflection symmetry and fermion parity on the reflection plane. We make contact with an effective field theory, known in literature as the exotic invertible phase with spacetime higher-group symmetry.

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