Floating topological phases

Trithep Devakul, S. L. Sondhi, S. A. Kivelson, Erez Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While quasi-two-dimensional (layered) materials can be highly anisotropic, their asymptotic long-distance behavior generally reflects the properties of a fully three-dimensional phase of matter. However, certain topologically ordered quantum phases with an emergent (2+1)-dimensional gauge symmetry can be asymptotically impervious to interplane couplings. We discuss the stability of such "floating topological phases,"as well as their diagnosis by means of a nonlocal order parameter. Such a phase can produce a divergent ratio ρ⊥/ρ∥ of the interlayer to intralayer resistivity as T→0, even in an insulator where both ρ⊥ and ρ∥ individually diverge. Experimental observation of such a divergence would constitute proof of the existence of a topological (e.g., spin-liquid) phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125136
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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