Topological phases with broken time-reversal symmetry and Chern number |C|>=2 are of fundamental interest, but it remains unclear how to engineer the desired topological Hamiltonian within the paradigm of spin-orbit-coupled particles hopping only between nearest neighbours of a static lattice. We show that phases with higher Chern number arise when the spin-orbit coupling satisfies a combination of spin and spatial rotation symmetries. We leverage this result both to construct minimal two-band tight binding Hamiltonians that exhibit |C|=2,3 phases, and to show that the Chern number of one of the energy bands can be inferred from the particle spin polarization at the high-symmetry crystal momenta in the Brillouin zone. Using these insights, we provide a detailed experimental scheme for the specific realization of a time-reversal-breaking topological phase with |C|=2 for ultracold atomic gases on a triangular lattice subject to spin-orbit coupling. The Chern number can be directly measured using Zeeman spectroscopy; for fermions the spin amplitudes can be measured directly via time of flight, while for bosons this is preceded by a short Bloch oscillation. Our results provide a pathway to the realization and detection of novel topological phases with higher Chern number in ultracold atomic gases.
|Presenter name||Abhijeet Alase|
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