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Continuum theory of edge states of topological insulators: variational principle and boundary conditions

Medhi, Amal and Shenoy, Vijay B (2012) Continuum theory of edge states of topological insulators: variational principle and boundary conditions. In: Journal of physics-condensed matter, 24 (35).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0953-8984/24/35/355001

Abstract

We develop a continuum theory to model low energy excitations of a generic four-band time reversal invariant electronic system with boundaries. We propose a variational energy functional for the wavefunctions which allows us to derive natural boundary conditions valid for such systems. Our formulation is particularly suited for developing a continuum theory of the protected edge/surface excitations of topological insulators both in two and three dimensions. By a detailed comparison of our analytical formulation with tight binding calculations of ribbons of topological insulators modelled by the Bernevig-Hughes-Zhang (BHZ) Hamiltonian, we show that the continuum theory with a natural boundary condition provides an appropriate description of the low energy physics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article is belongs to IOP Publishing limited.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2012 06:57
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2012 07:04
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/45127

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