Torsional response and dissipationless viscosity in topological insulators

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Abstract

We consider the viscoelastic response of the electronic degrees of freedom in 2D and 3D topological insulators (TI's). Our primary focus is on the 2D Chern insulator which exhibits a bulk dissipationless viscosity analogous to the quantum Hall viscosity predicted in integer and fractional quantum Hall states. We show that the dissipationless viscosity is the response of a TI to torsional deformations of the underlying lattice geometry. The viscoelastic response also indicates that crystal dislocations in Chern insulators will carry momentum density. We briefly discuss generalizations to 3D which imply that time-reversal invariant TI's will exhibit a quantum Hall viscosity on their surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075502
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume107
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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