Orbital magnetization in periodic insulators

T. Thonhauser, Davide Ceresoli, David Vanderbilt, R. Resta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

246 Scopus citations


Working in the Wannier representation, we derive an expression for the orbital magnetization of a periodic insulator. The magnetization is shown to be comprised of two contributions, an obvious one associated with the internal circulation of bulklike Wannier functions in the interior, and an unexpected one arising from net currents carried by Wannier functions near the surface. Each contribution can be expressed as a bulk property in terms of Bloch functions in a gauge-invariant way. Our expression is verified by comparing numerical tight-binding calculations for finite and periodic samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137205
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 23 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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