Exponential localization of Wannier functions in insulators
The exponential localization of Wannier functions in two or three dimensions is proven for all insulators that display time-reversal symmetry, settling a long-standing conjecture. Our proof relies on the equivalence between the existence of analytic quasi-Bloch functions and the nullity of the Chern numbers (or of the Hall current) for the system under consideration. The same equivalence implies that Chern insulators cannot display exponentially localized Wannier functions. An explicit condition for the reality of the Wannier functions is identified.