Interaction-enabled fractonic higher-order topological phases

Julian May-Mann, Yizhi You, Taylor L. Hughes, Zhen Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we present a collection of three-dimensional higher-order symmetry-protected topological phases (HOSPTs) with gapless hinge modes that exist only in strongly interacting systems subject to subsystem symmetry constraints. We use a coupled wire construction to generate three families of microscopic lattice models: insulators with helical hinge modes, superconductors with chiral Majorana hinge modes, and fractionalized insulators with helical hinge modes that carry fractional charge. In particular, these HOSPTs do not require spatial symmetry protection, but are instead protected by subsystem symmetries, and support "fractonic"quasiparticle excitations that move within only a low-dimensional submanifold of the system. We analyze the anomaly structure for the boundary theory and the entanglement Hamiltonian, and show that the side surfaces of these HOSPTs, despite being partially gapped, exhibit symmetry anomalies, and can only be realized as the boundary of three-dimensional HOSPT phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245122
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 15 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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