Anderson critical metal phase in trivial states protected by average magnetic crystalline symmetry

Fa Jie Wang, Zhen Yu Xiao, Raquel Queiroz, B. Andrei Bernevig, Ady Stern, Zhi Da Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transitions between distinct obstructed atomic insulators (OAIs) protected by crystalline symmetries, where electrons form molecular orbitals centering away from the atom positions, must go through an intermediate metallic phase. In this work, we find that the intermediate metals will become a scale-invariant critical metal phase (CMP) under certain types of quenched disorder that respect the magnetic crystalline symmetries on average. We explicitly construct models respecting average C2zT, m, and C4zT and show their scale-invariance under chemical potential disorder by the finite-size scaling method. Conventional theories, such as weak anti-localization and topological phase transition, cannot explain the underlying mechanism. A quantitative mapping between lattice and network models shows that the CMP can be understood through a semi-classical percolation problem. Ultimately, we systematically classify all the OAI transitions protected by (magnetic) groups Pm,P2,P4, and P6 with and without spin-orbit coupling, most of which can support CMP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3069
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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