Helical liquid and the edge of quantum spin hall systems

Congjun Wu, B. Andrei Bernevig, Shou Cheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

544 Scopus citations

Abstract

The edge states of the recently proposed quantum spin Hall systems constitute a new symmetry class of one-dimensional liquids dubbed the "helical liquid," where the spin orientation is determined by the direction of electron motion. We prove a no-go theorem which states that a helical liquid with an odd number of components cannot be constructed in a purely 1D lattice system. In a helical liquid with an odd number of components, a uniform gap in the ground state can appear when the time-reversal symmetry is spontaneously broken by interactions. On the other hand, a correlated two-particle backscattering term by an impurity can become relevant while keeping the time-reversal invariance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106401
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume96
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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