Topologically quantized current in quasiperiodic Thouless pumps

Pasquale Marra, Muneto Nitta

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Thouless pumps are topologically nontrivial states of matter with quantized charge transport, which can be realized in atomic gases loaded into an optical lattice. This topological state is analogous to the quantum Hall state. However, contrarily to the exact, extremely precise, and robust quantization of the Hall conductance, the pumped charge is strictly quantized only when the pumping time is a multiple of a characteristic timescale, i.e., the pumping cycle duration. Here, we show instead that the pumped current becomes exactly quantized, independently from the pumping time, if the system is led into a quasiperiodic, incommensurate regime. In this quasiperiodic and topologically nontrivial state, the Bloch bands and the Berry curvature become flat, the pumped charge becomes linear in time, while the current becomes steady, topologically quantized, and proportional to the Chern number. The quantization of the current is exact up to exponentially small corrections. This has to be contrasted with the case of the commensurate (nonquasiperiodic) regime, where the current is not constant, and the pumped charge is quantized only at integer multiples of the pumping cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042035
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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