Quantitative Mappings Between Symmetry and Topology in Solids

Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 30;9(1):3530. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06010-w.


The study of spatial symmetries was accomplished during the last century and had greatly improved our understanding of the properties of solids. Nowadays, the symmetry data of any crystal can be readily extracted from standard first-principles calculation. On the other hand, the topological data (topological invariants), the defining quantities of nontrivial topological states, are in general considerably difficult to obtain, and this difficulty has critically slowed down the search for topological materials. Here we provide explicit and exhaustive mappings from symmetry data to topological data for arbitrary gapped band structure in the presence of time-reversal symmetry and any one of the 230 space groups. The mappings are completed using the theoretical tools of layer construction and symmetry-based indicators. With these results, finding topological invariants in any given gapped band structure reduces to a simple search in the mapping tables provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't