Topological insulators with commensurate antiferromagnetism

Chen Fang, Matthew J. Gilbert, B. Andrei Bernevig

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82 Scopus citations


We study the topological features of noninteracting insulators subject to an antiferromangetic (AFM) Zeeman field, or AFM insulators, the period of which is commensurate with the lattice period. These insulators can be classified by the presence/absence of an emergent antiunitary symmetry: the combined operation of time reversal and a lattice translation by vector D. For AFM insulators that preserve this combined symmetry, regardless of any details in lattice structure or magnetic structure, we show that (i) there is a new type of Kramers' degeneracy protected by the combined symmetry; (ii) a new Z2 index may be defined for three-dimensional (3D) AFM insulators, but not for those in lower dimensions, and (iii) in 3D AFM insulators with a nontrivial Z2 index, there are odd number of gapless surface modes if and only if the surface termination also preserves the combined symmetry, but the dispersion of surface states becomes highly anisotropic if the AFM propagation vector becomes small compared with the reciprocal lattice vectors. We numerically demonstrate the theory by calculating the spectral weight of the surface states of a 3D topological insulator in the presence of AFM fields with different propagation vectors, which may be observed by ARPES in Bi2Se3 or Bi2Te3 with induced antiferromagnetism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085406
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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