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Title: Spatially-protected topology and group cohomology in band insulators
Authors: Alexandradinata, Aris
Advisors: Bernevig, Bogdan A.
Contributors: Physics Department
Subjects: Condensed matter physics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis investigates band topologies which rely fundamentally on spatial symmetries. A basic geometric property that distinguishes spatial symmetry regards their transformation of the spatial origin. Point groups consist of spatial transformations that preserve the spatial origin, while un-split extensions of the point groups by spatial translations are referred to as nonsymmorphic space groups. The first part of the thesis addresses topological phases with discretely-robust surface properties: we introduce theories for the $C_{nv}$ point groups, as well as certain nonsymmorphic groups that involve glide reflections. These band insulators admit a powerful characterization through the geometry of quasimomentum space; parallel transport in this space is represented by the Wilson loop. The non-symmorphic topology we study is naturally described by a further extension of the nonsymmorphic space group by quasimomentum translations (the Wilson loop), thus placing real and quasimomentum space on equal footing - here, we introduce the language of group cohomology into the theory of band insulators. The second part of the thesis addresses topological phases without surface properties -- their only known physical consequences are discrete signatures in parallel transport. We provide two such case studies with spatial-inversion and discrete-rotational symmetries respectively. One lesson learned here regards the choice of parameter loops in which we carry out transport -- the loop must be chosen to exploit the symmetry that protects the topology. While straight loops are popular for their connection with the geometric theory of polarization, we show that bent loops also have utility in topological band theory.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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