Parseval Frames of Exponentially Localized Magnetic Wannier Functions

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Motivated by the analysis of gapped periodic quantum systems in presence of a uniform magnetic field in dimension d≤ 3 , we study the possibility to construct spanning sets of exponentially localized (generalized) Wannier functions for the space of occupied states. When the magnetic flux per unit cell satisfies a certain rationality condition, by going to the momentum-space description one can model m occupied energy bands by a real-analytic and Z d-periodic family {P(k)}k∈Rd of orthogonal projections of rank m. A moving orthonormal basis of RanP(k) consisting of real-analytic and Z d-periodic Bloch vectors can be constructed if and only if the first Chern number(s) of P vanish(es). Here we are mainly interested in the topologically obstructed case. First, by dropping the generating condition, we show how to algorithmically construct a collection of m- 1 orthonormal, real-analytic, and Z d-periodic Bloch vectors. Second, by dropping the linear independence condition, we construct a Parseval frame of m+ 1 real-analytic and Z d-periodic Bloch vectors which generate RanP(k). Both algorithms are based on a two-step logarithm method which produces a moving orthonormal basis in the topologically trivial case. A moving Parseval frame of analytic, Z d-periodic Bloch vectors corresponds to a Parseval frame of exponentially localized composite Wannier functions. We extend this construction to the case of magnetic Hamiltonians with an irrational magnetic flux per unit cell and show how to produce Parseval frames of exponentially localized generalized Wannier functions also in this setting. Our results are illustrated in crystalline insulators modelled by 2d discrete Hofstadter-like Hamiltonians, but apply to certain continuous models of magnetic Schrödinger operators as well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Physics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1179-1230
Number of pages52
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019



  • localized Wannier functions
  • aperiodic Hamiltonians
  • magnetic perturbation theory

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