Insulator/Chern-insulator transition in the Haldane model

T. Thonhauser, David Vanderbilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


We study the behavior of several physical properties of the Haldane model as the system undergoes its transition from the normal-insulator to the Chern-insulator phase. We find that the density matrix has exponential decay in both insulating phases, while having a power-law decay, more characteristic of a metallic system, precisely at the phase boundary. The total spread of the maximally localized Wannier functions is found to diverge in the Chern-insulator phase. However, its gauge-invariant part, related to the localization length of Resta and Sorella, is finite in both insulating phases and diverges as the phase boundary is approached. We also clarify how the usual algorithms for constructing Wannier functions break down as one crosses into the Chern-insulator region of the phase diagram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235111
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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