Berry-phase description of topological crystalline insulators

A. Alexandradinata, B. Andrei Bernevig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We study a class of translational-invariant insulators with discrete rotational symmetry. These insulators have no spin-orbit coupling, and in some cases have no time-reversal symmetry either; i.e., the relevant symmetries are purely crystalline. Nevertheless, topological phases exist which are distinguished by their robust surface modes. Like many well-known topological phases, their band topology is unveiled by the crystalline analog of Berry phases, i.e., parallel transport across certain noncontractible loops in the Brillouin zone. We also identify certain topological phases without any robust surface modes; they are uniquely distinguished by parallel transport along bent loops, whose shapes are determined by the symmetry group. Our findings have experimental implications in cold-atom systems, where the crystalline Berry phase has been directly measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 3 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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