Weakly interacting one-dimensional topological insulators: A bosonization approach

Polina Matveeva, Dmitri Gutman, Sam T. Carr

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We investigate the topological properties of one-dimensional weakly interacting topological insulators using bosonization. To do that we study the topological edge states that emerge at the edges of a model realized by a strong impurity or at the boundary between topologically distinct phases. In the bosonic model, the edge states are manifested as degenerate bosonic kinks at the boundaries. We first illustrate this idea on the example of the interacting Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) chain. We compute the localization length of the edge states as the width of an edge soliton that occurs in the SSH model in the presence of a strong impurity. Next, we examine models of two capacitively coupled SSH chains that can be either identical or in distinct topological phases. We find that weak Hubbard interaction reduces the ground-state degeneracy in the topological phase of identical chains. We then prove that, similarly to the noninteracting model, the degeneracy of the edge states in the interacting case is protected by chiral symmetry. We then study topological insulators built from two SSH chains with interchain hopping that represent models of different chiral symmetric universality classes. We demonstrate in bosonic language that the topological index of a weakly coupled model is determined by the type of interchain coupling, invariant under one of two possible chiral symmetry operators. Finally, we show that a general one-dimensional model in a phase with topological index ν is equivalent at low energies to a theory of at least ν SSH chains. We illustrate this idea on the example of an SSH model with longer-range hopping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165436
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number16
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2024

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