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VOLUME 80 | ISSUE 4 | PAGE 316
The mesoscopic chiral metal-insulator transition
S. Kettemann+, B. Kramer+, T. Ohtsuki+*
+Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Hamburg, 20355 Hamburg, Germany
*Department of Physics, Sophia University, Chiyoda-Ku, 102-8554 Tokyo, Japan

PACS: 72.10.Fk, 72.15.Rn, 73.20.Fz
Sharp localization transitions of chiral edge states in disordered quantum wires, subject to strong magnetic field, are shown to be driven by crossovers from two- to one-dimensional localization of bulk states. As a result, the two-terminal conductance is found to exhibit at zero temperature discontinuous transitions between exactly/ integer plateau values and zero, reminiscent of first order phase transitions. We discuss the corresponding phase diagram. The spin of the electrons is shown to result in a multitude of phases, when the spin degeneracy is lifted by the Zeeman energy. The width of conductance plateaus is found to depend sensitively on the spin flip rate 1/τ s.

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