Spin-Directed Network Model for the Surface States of Weak Three-Dimensional Z_2 Topological Insulators

When: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Christopher Mudry
Organization: Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland
Sponsor: Condensed Matter Seminar

A two-dimensional spin-directed Z_2 network model is constructed that describes the combined effects of dimerization and disorder for the surface states of a weak three-dimensional Z_2 topological insulator. The network model consists of helical edge states of two-dimensional layers of Z_2 topological insulators which are coupled by time-reversal symmetric interlayer tunneling. It is argued that, without dimerization of interlayer couplings, the network model has no insulating phase for any disorder strength. However, a sufficiently strong dimerization induces a transition from a metallic phase to an insulating phase. The critical exponent $nu$ for the diverging localization length at metal-insulator transition points is obtained by finite-size scaling analysis of numerical data from simulations of this network model. It is shown that the phase transition belongs to the two-dimensional symplectic universality class of Anderson transition.

Host: Assistant Professor Adrian Feiguin