Authors: Self, Chris N.; Rubio-Garcia, Alvaro; Jose Garcia-Ripoll, Juan; Pachos, Jiannis K.
Journal: PHYSICAL REVIEW B
Publication date: 2020/07/23
Abstract: We provide evidence that, alongside topologically protected edge states, two-dimensional Chern insulators also support localized bulk states deep in their valence and conduction bands. These states manifest when local potential gradients are applied to the bulk, while all parts of the system remain adiabatically connected to the same phase. In turn, the bulk states produce bulk current transverse to the potential difference. This occurs even when the potential is always below the energy gap, where one expects only edge currents to appear. Bulk currents are topologically protected and behave as edge currents under an external influence, such as temperature or local disorder. Detecting topologically resilient bulk currents offers a direct means to probe the localized bulk states.