Thermal instability of protected end states in a one-dimensional topological insulator



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Viyuela García, Óscar and Rivas Vargas, Ángel and Martín-Delgado Alcántara, Miguel Ángel (2012) Thermal instability of protected end states in a one-dimensional topological insulator. Physical review B, 86 (15). ISSN 1098-0121

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We have studied the dynamical thermal effects on the protected end states of a topological insulator (TI) when it is considered as an open quantum system in interaction with a noisy environment at a certain temperature T . As a result, we find that protected end states in a TI become unstable and decay with time. Very remarkably, the interaction with the thermal environment (fermion-boson) respects chiral symmetry, which is the symmetry responsible for the protection (robustness) of the end states in this TI when it is isolated from the environment. Therefore, this mechanism makes end states unstable while preserving their protecting symmetry. Our results have immediate practical implications in recently proposed simulations of TIs using cold atoms in optical lattices. Accordingly, we have computed lifetimes of topological end states for these physical implementations that are useful to make those experiments realistic.

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© 2012 American Physical Society. We thank the Spanish MICINN grant FIS2009-10061, CAM research consortium QUITEMAD S2009-ESP-1594, European Commission PICC: FP7 2007-2013, Grant No. 249958, UCM-BS Grant No. GICC-910758.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Superconductors,
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Physics-Mathematical models
ID Code:47677
Deposited On:24 May 2018 08:11
Last Modified:24 May 2018 08:15

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