Volume 126, Number 3, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||31 May 2019|
Topological insulator in an atomic liquid
Department of Physics, University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
Received: 2 February 2019
Accepted: 3 May 2019
We demonstrate theoretically an atomic liquid phase that supports topologically nontrivial electronic structure. A minimum two-orbital model of liquid topological insulator in two dimensions is constructed within the framework of tight-binding molecular dynamics. As temperature approaches zero, our simulations show that the atoms crystallize into a triangular lattice with nontrivial band topology at high densities. Thermal fluctuations at finite temperatures melt the lattice, giving rise to a liquid state which inherits the nontrivial topology from the crystalline phase. The electronic structure of the resultant atomic liquid is characterized by a nonzero Bott index. Our work broadens the notion of topological materials, and points to a new systematic approach for searching topological phases in amorphous and liquid systems.
PACS: 73.43.Cd – Theory and modeling / 61.20.Ja – Computer simulation of liquid structure / 73.20.Fz – Weak or Anderson localization
© EPLA, 2019
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