Equivariant minimal surfaces in CH2 and their Higgs bundles

John Loftin, Ian McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper gives a construction for all minimal immersions ƒ of the Poincaré disc into the complex hyperbolic plane CH2 which are equivariant with respect to an irreducible representation ρ of a hyperbolic surface group into PU(2,1). We exploit the fact that each such immersion is a twisted conformal harmonic map and therefore has a corresponding Higgs bundle. We identify the structure of these Higgs bundles and show how each is determined by properties of the map, including the induced metric and a holomorphic cubic differential on the surface. We show that the moduli space of pairs (ρ,ƒ) is a disjoint union of finitely many complex manifolds, whose structure we fully describe. The holomorphic (or anti-holomorphic) maps provide multiple components of this union, as do the non-holomorphic maps. Each of the latter components has the same dimension as the representation variety for PU(2,1), and is indexed by the number of complex and anti-complex points of the immersion. These numbers determine the Toledo invariant and the Euler number of the normal bundle of the immersion. We show that there is an open set of quasi-Fuchsian representations of Toledo invariant zero for which the minimal surface is unique and Lagrangian.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-106
Number of pages37
JournalAsian Journal of Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019

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  • math.DG
  • 20H10, 53C43, 58E20
  • Higgs bundle
  • Complex hyperbolic plane
  • Minimal surface

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