# Integer quantum Hall transition: An alternative approach and exact results

## Abstract

We introduce and analyze a class of model systems to study transitions in the integer quantum Hall effect (IQHE). Even without disorder our model exhibits an IQHE transition as a control parameter is varied. We find that the transition is in the two-dimensional Ising universality class and compute all associated exponents and critical transport properties. The fixed point has time-reversal, particle-hole, and parity invariance. We then consider the effect of quenched disorder on the IQHE transition and find the following. (i) Randomness in the control parameter (which breaks all the above symmetries) translates into bond randomness in the Ising model and is hence marginally irrelevant. The transition may equally well be viewed as a quantum percolation of edge states localized on equipotentials. The absence of random-phase factors for the edge states is responsible for the nongeneric (Ising) critical properties. (ii) For a random magnetic field (which preserves particle-hole symmetry in every realization) the model exhibits an exactly solvable fixed line, described in terms of a product of a Luttinger liquid and an SU(n) spin chain. While exponents vary continuously along the fixed line, the longitudinal conductivity is constant due to a general conformal sum rule for Kac-Moody algebras (derived here), and is computed exactly. We also obtain a closed expression for the extended zero-energy wave function for every realization of disorder and compute its exact multifractal spectrum f and the exponents of all participation ratios. One point on the fixed line corresponds to a recently proposed model by Gade and Wegner. (iii) The model in the presence of a random on-site potential scales to a strong disorder regime, which is argued to be described by a symplectic nonlinear-sigma-model fixed point. (iv) We find a plausible global phase diagram in which all forms of disorder are simultaneously considered. In this generic case, the presence of random-phase factors in the edge-state description indicates that the transition is described by a Chalker-Coddington model, with a so far analytically inaccessible fixed point. © 1994 The American Physical Society.