Computing edge states without hard truncation

Journal Article

We present a numerical method which accurately computes the discrete spectrum and associated bound states of Hamiltonians which model electronic "edge" states localized at boundaries of one and two-dimensional crystalline materials. The problem is non-trivial since arbitrarily large finite "hard" truncations of the Hamiltonian in the infinite bulk direction tend to produce spurious bound states partially supported at the truncation. Our method, which overcomes this difficulty, is to compute the Green's function of the Hamiltonian by imposing an appropriate boundary condition in the bulk direction; then, the spectral data is recovered via Riesz projection. We demonstrate our method's effectiveness by studies of edge states at a graphene zig-zag edge in the presence of defects modeled both by a discrete tight-binding model and a continuum PDE model under finite difference discretization. Our method may also be used to study states localized at domain wall-type edges in one and two-dimensional materials where the edge Hamiltonian is infinite in both directions; we demonstrate this for the case of a tight-binding model of distinct honeycomb structures joined along a zig-zag edge.

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Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Thicke, K; Watson, AB; Lu, J