Non-commutative Chern numbers for generic aperiodic discrete systems

Chris Bourne, Emil Prodan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The search for strong topological phases in generic aperiodic materials and meta-materials is now vigorously pursued by the condensed matter physics community. In this work, we first introduce the concept of patterned resonators as a unifying theoretical framework for topological electronic, photonic, phononic etc (aperiodic) systems. We then discuss, in physical terms, the philosophy behind an operator theoretic analysis used to systematize such systems. A model calculation of the Hall conductance of a 2-dimensional amorphous lattice is given, where we present numerical evidence of its quantization in the mobility gap regime. Motivated by such facts, we then present the main result of our work, which is the extension of the Chern number formulas to Hamiltonians associated to lattices without a canonical labeling of the sites, together with index theorems that assure the quantization and stability of these Chern numbers in the mobility gap regime. Our results cover a broad range of applications, in particular, those involving quasi-crystalline, amorphous as well as synthetic (i.e. algorithmically generated) lattices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number235202
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 16


  • aperiodic systems
  • index theorems
  • topological insulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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