In this work, we consider a generalization of the symmetry classification of topological insulators to non-Hermitian Hamiltonians, which satisfy a combined PT symmetry (parity and time reversal). We show via examples and explicit proofs from separate bulk and gapless boundary-state perspectives that the typical paradigm of forming topological insulator states from Dirac Hamiltonians is not compatible with the construction of non-Hermitian PT-symmetric Hamiltonians. The topological insulator states are PT-breaking phases and have energy spectra that are complex (not real) and, thus, are not consistent quantum theories.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Oct 7 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics