SciPost Submission Page

Topological states between inversion symmetric atomic insulators

by Ana Silva and Jasper van Wezel

Submission summary

As Contributors: Jasper van Wezel
Preprint link: scipost_202101_00003v2
Date submitted: 2021-05-03 10:24
Submitted by: van Wezel, Jasper
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical


One of the hallmarks of topological insulators is the correspondence between the value of its bulk topological invariant and the number of topologically protected edge modes observed in a finite-sized sample. This bulk-boundary correspondence has been well-tested for strong topological invariants, and forms the basis for all proposed technological applications of topology. Here, we report that a group of weak topological invariants, which depend only on the symmetries of the atomic lattice, also induces a particular type of bulk-boundary correspondence. It predicts the presence or absence of states localised at the interface between two inversion-symmetric band insulators with trivial values for their strong invariants, based on the space group representation of the bands on either side of the junction. We show that this corresponds with symmetry-based classifications of topological materials. The interface modes are protected by the combination of band topology and symmetry of the interface, and may be used for topological transport and signal manipulation in heterojunction-based devices.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear editor,

We would like to thank the referees for their time and effort in reviewing our submission, and for their many positive comments regarding our work. In particular, the referees note that the paper is “very well written", presents "strong" or "general, model-independent" results, and is likely to "lead to multiple follow-up theoretical and experimental investigations".

Both referees raised similar concerns, which we believe are primarily based in our failure to give a sufficiently clear definition of our use of the terms "strong topology" and "topological protection" in the original manuscript. Additionally, both referees ask for an explicit example of our proposed interface states.

In the attached, revised manuscript we address both concerns of the referees in detail. We extended the introduction, and now explicitly define the meaning of all terms that are open to multiple interpretations. We also introduce an extensive new section with three additional figures, describing two explicit examples in which the proposed topological interface states arise. We show their existence in numerical simulations, and probe their robustness in the way suggested by the referees.

We believe these changes adequately address the concerns raised by the referees, and respectfully ask you to reconsider the attached manuscript. Below, we respond to the comments of both referees point by point.

Yours sincerely,

Ana Silva and Jasper van Wezel.

List of changes

Our reply letter includes a figure, which we cannot upload here -- For our replies to the comments made by referees, and an explanation of the changes made, please see our "response to the referee comments" (submitted earlier to the SciPost page for this submission).

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