Disorder-induced quantum phase transitions in three-dimensional topological insulators and superconductors

Shinsei Ryu, Kentaro Nomura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We discuss the effects of disorder in time-reversal-invariant topological insulators and superconductors in three spatial dimensions. For three-dimensional topological insulator in the symplectic (AII) symmetry class, the phase diagram in the presence of disorder and a mass term, which drives a transition between trivial and topological insulator phases, is computed numerically by the transfer matrix method. The numerics is supplemented by a field-theory analysis (the large-N f expansion, where N f is the number of valleys or Dirac cones), from which we obtain the correlation length exponent, and several anomalous dimensions at a nontrivial critical point separating a metallic phase and a Dirac semimetal. A similar-field theory approach is developed for disorder-driven transitions in symmetry classes AIII, CI, and DIII. For these three symmetry classes, where topological superconductors are characterized by integer topological invariant, a complementary description is given in terms of the nonlinear sigma model supplemented with a topological term, which is a three-dimensional analog of the Pruisken term in the integer quantum Hall effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155138
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 26 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Disorder-induced quantum phase transitions in three-dimensional topological insulators and superconductors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this