- AMER PHYSICAL SOC
We theoretically study subgap states appearing at the interface between two three-dimensional topological insulators which have different configurations in the spin-orbit interactions from each other. The coupling of spin sigma with momenta p is configured by a material dependent 3 x 3 matrix A as sigma(mu) A(mu)(nu)P(nu). The spectra of the interface subgap states depend on the relative choices of A's in the two topological insulators where the two A are connected by the unitary transformation including the inversion and the rotation in momentum space. The gapless states appear at the interface when the transformation includes the inversion. The two topological insulators can be distinguished by using the topological numbers defined in the two- or one-dimensional partial Brillouin zone, which explains the presence of the gapless interface states. We also discuss the robustness of such gapless states under perturbations breaking the time-reversal symmetry or the band-inversion symmetry.
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