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Anomalous quantum Hall effect induced by disorder in topological insulators

Abstract : We investigate a transition between a two-dimensional topological insulator conduction state, characterized by a conductance G = 2 (in fundamental units e 2 /h) and a Chern insulator with G = 1, induced by polarized magnetic impurities. Two kinds of coupling, ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic, are considered with the electron and hole subbands. We demonstrate that for strong disorder, a phase G = 1 exists even for ferromagnetic order, in contrast with the prediction of the mean field approximation. This result is supported by direct numerical computations using Landauer transport formula, and by analytical calculations of the chemical potential and mass renormalization as a function of the disorder strength, in the self-consistent Born approximation. The transition is related to the suppression of one of the spin conduction channels, for strong enough disorder, by selective spin scattering and localization.
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Laurent Raymond, Alberto Verga, Arnaud Demion. Anomalous quantum Hall effect induced by disorder in topological insulators. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 92, pp.075101. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.92.075101⟩. ⟨hal-01500468⟩

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