Two-dimensional higher-order topological insulators can display a number of exotic phenomena, such as half-integer charges localized at both corners and disclination defects. In this paper, we analyze these phenomena, focusing on the paradigmatic example of the quadrupole insulator with C4 rotation symmetry, and present a topological field theory description of the mixed geometry-charge responses. Our theory provides a unified description of the corner and disclination charges in terms of a physical geometry (which encodes disclinations), and an effective geometry (which encodes corners). We extend this analysis to interacting systems, and predict the response of fractional quadrupole insulators, which exhibit charge e/2(2k+1) bound to corners and disclinations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics