Topological states from topological crystals

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Science Advances  18 Dec 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 12, eaax2007
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax2007


We present a scheme to explicitly construct and classify general topological states jointly protected by an onsite symmetry group and a spatial symmetry group. We show that all these symmetry-protected topological states can be adiabatically deformed into a special class of states we call topological crystals. A topological crystal in, for example, three dimensions is a real-space assembly of finite-sized pieces of topological states in one and two dimensions protected by the local symmetry group alone, arranged in a configuration invariant under the spatial group and glued together such that there is no open edge or end. As a demonstration of principle, we explicitly enumerate all inequivalent topological crystals for noninteracting time-reversal symmetric electronic insulators with spin-orbit coupling and any one of the 230 space groups. This enumeration gives topological crystalline insulators a full classification.

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