Disappearance of integer quantum Hall effect

The disappearance of integer quantum Hall effect (IQHE) at strong disorder and weak magnetic field is studied in a lattice model. A generic sequence by which the IQHE plateaus disappear is revealed: higher IQHE plateaus always vanish earlier than lower ones, and extended levels between those plateaus do not float up in energy but keep merging together after the destruction of plateaus. All of these features remain to be true in the weak-field limit as shown by the thermodynamic localization-length calculation. Topological characterization in terms of Chern integers provides a simple physical explanation and suggests a qualitative difference between the lattice and continuum models.