Viscoelastic response of topological tight-binding models in two and three dimensions

Hassan Shapourian, Taylor L. Hughes, Shinsei Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The topological response to external perturbations is an effective probe to characterize different topological phases of matter. Besides the Hall conductance, the Hall viscosity is another example of such a response that measures how electronic wave functions respond to changes in the underlying geometry. Topological (Chern) insulators are known to have a quantized Hall conductance. A natural question is how the Hall viscosity behaves for these materials. So far, most of studies on the Hall viscosity of Chern insulators have focused on the continuum limit. The presence of lattice breaks the continuous translational symmetry to a discrete group and this causes two complications: it introduces a new length scale associated with the lattice constant, and makes the momentum periodic. We develop two different methods of how to implement a lattice deformation: (1) a lattice distortion is encoded as a shift in the lattice momentum and (2) a lattice deformation is treated microscopically in the gradient expansion of the hopping matrix elements. After establishing the method of deformation, we can compute the Hall viscosity through a linear response (Kubo) formula. We examine these methods for three models: the Hofstadter model, the Chern insulator, and the surface of a 3D topological insulator. Our results in certain regimes of parameters, where the continuum limit is relevant, are in agreement with previous calculations. We also provide possible experimental signatures of the Hall viscosity by studying the phononic properties of a single-crystal 3D topological insulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165131
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 29 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Viscoelastic response of topological tight-binding models in two and three dimensions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this