Global phase diagram of two-dimensional Dirac fermions in random potentials

S. Ryu, C. Mudry, A. W.W. Ludwig, A. Furusaki

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Anderson localization is studied for two flavors of massless Dirac fermions in two-dimensional space perturbed by static disorder that is invariant under a chiral symmetry (chS) and a time-reversal symmetry (TRS) operation which, when squared, is equal either to plus or minus the identity. The former TRS (symmetry class BDI) can, for example, be realized when the Dirac fermions emerge from spinless fermions hopping on a two-dimensional lattice with a linear energy dispersion such as the honeycomb lattice (graphene) or the square lattice with π flux per plaquette. The latter TRS is realized by the surface states of three-dimensional Z2-topological band insulators in symmetry class CII. In the phase diagram parametrized by the disorder strengths, there is an infrared stable line of critical points for both symmetry classes BDI and CII. Here we discuss a "global phase diagram" in which disordered Dirac fermion systems in all three chiral symmetry classes, AIII, CII, and BDI, occur in four quadrants, sharing one corner which represents the clean Dirac fermion limit. This phase diagram also includes symmetry classes AII [e.g., appearing at the surface of a disordered three-dimensional Z2-topological band insulator in the spin-orbit (symplectic) symmetry class] and D (e.g., the random bond Ising model in two dimensions) as boundaries separating regions of the phase diagram belonging to the three chS classes AIII, BDI, and CII. Moreover, we argue that physics of Anderson localization in the CII phase can be presented in terms of a non-linear-σ model (NLσM) with a Z2-topological term. We thereby complete the derivation of topological or Wess-Zumino-Novikov-Witten terms in the NLσM description of disordered fermionic models in all ten symmetry classes relevant to Anderson localization in two spatial dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235115
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 8 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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