Generalized Chern numbers based on open system Green's functions

English

Farias, Maria Belen[University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) > Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPHYMS) >]

Schmidt, Thomas[University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) > Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPHYMS) >]

[en] We present an alternative approach to studying topology in open quantum systems, relying directly on Green's functions and avoiding the need to construct an effective non-Hermitian (nH) Hamiltonian. We define an energy-dependent Chern number based on the eigenstates of the inverse Green's function matrix of the system which contains, within the self-energy, all the information about the influence of the environment, interactions, gain or losses. We explicitly calculate this topological invariant for a system consisting of a single 2D Dirac cone and find that it is half-integer quantized when certain assumptions about the self-energy are made. Away from these conditions, which cannot or are not usually considered within the formalism of nH Hamiltonians, we find that such a quantization is usually lost and the Chern number vanishes, and that in special cases, it can change to integer quantization.