C. Wang, L. Gioia, A. A. Burkov. Fractional Quantum Hall Effect in Weyl Semimetals. ArXiv July 2019.
Weyl semimetal may be thought of as a gapless topological phase protected by the chiral anomaly, where the symmetries involved in the anomaly are the U(1) charge conservation and the crystal translational symmetry. The absence of a band gap in a weakly-interacting Weyl semimetal is mandated by the electronic structure topology and is guaranteed as long as the symmetries and the anomaly are intact. The nontrivial topology also manifests in the Fermi arc surface states and topological response, in particular taking the form of an anomalous Hall effect in magnetic Weyl semimetals, whose magnitude is only determined by the location of the Weyl nodes in the Brillouin zone. Here we consider the situation when the interactions are not weak and ask whether it is possible to open a gap in a magnetic Weyl semimetal while preserving its nontrivial electronic structure topology along with the translational and the charge conservation symmetries. Surprisingly, the answer turns out to be yes. The resulting topologically ordered state provides a nontrivial realization of the fractional quantum Hall effect in three spatial dimensions in the absence of an external magnetic field, which cannot be viewed as a stack of two dimensional states. Our state contains loop excitations with nontrivial braiding statistics when linked with lattice dislocations.
P. Swatek, Y. Wu, L.-L. Wang, K. Lee, B. Schrunk, J. Yan, A. Kaminski. Gapless Dirac surface states in the antiferromagnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4. ArXiv July 2019.
We use high-resolution, tunable angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to study the electronic properties of single crystals of MnBi2Te4, a material that was predicted to be the first intrinsic antiferromagnetic (AFM) topological insulator. We observe both bulk and surface bands in the electronic spectra, in reasonable agreement with the DFT calculations results. In striking contrast to the earlier literatures showing a full gap opening between two surface band manifolds along (0001) direction, we observed a gapless Dirac cone that remained protected in MnBi2Te4 across the AFM transition (TN = 24 K). Our data also reveals the existence of a second Dirac cone closer to the Fermi level, predicted by band structure calculations. Whereas the surface Dirac cones seem to be remarkably insensitive to the AFM ordering, we do observe splitting of the bulk band that develops below the TN. Having a moderately high ordering temperature, MnBi2Te4 provides a unique platform for studying the interplay between topology and magnetic ordering.
L.-L. Wang, N. H. Jo, B. Kuthanazhi, Y. Wu, R. J. McQueeney, A. Kaminski, and P. C. Canfield. Single Pair of Weyl Fermions in Half-metallic Semimetal EuCd2As2. Physical Review B 99, 245147 (2019).
Materials with the ideal case of a single pair of Weyl points (WPs) are highly desirable for elucidating the unique properties of Weyl fermions. EuCd2As2 is an antiferromagnetic topological insulator or Dirac semimetal depending on the different magnetic configurations. Using first-principles band-structure calculations, we show that inducing ferromagnetism in EuCd2As2 can generate a single pair of WPs from splitting the single pair of antiferromagnetic Dirac points due to its half-metallic nature. Analysis with a low-energy effective Hamiltonian shows that a single pair of WPs is obtained in EuCd2As2 because the Dirac points are very close to the zone center and the ferromagnetic exchange splitting is large enough to push one pair of WPs to merge and annihilate at Γ while the other pair survives. Furthermore, we predict that alloying with Ba at the Eu site can stabilize the ferromagnetic configuration and generate a single pair of Weyl points without application of a magnetic field.
M. Goyal, H. Kim, T. Schumann, L. Galletti, A. A. Burkov, and S. Stemmer. Surface states of strained thin films of the Dirac semimetal Cd3As2. Physical Review Materials 3, 064204 (2019).
We report on the growth and transport properties of strained thin films of the three-dimensional Dirac semimetal Cd3As2. Epitaxial heterostructures, consisting of (112)-oriented Cd3As2 films, are grown on nearly lattice matched (Ga1−xInx)Sb buffer layers on (111) GaAs substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. The epitaxial coherency strain breaks the fourfold rotational symmetry, which protects the bulk Dirac nodes in Cd3As2. All strained films exhibit the quantum Hall effect with most carriers residing in the two-dimensional states, irrespective of the sign of the biaxial stress. The Hall mobility monotonically increases as the biaxial stress is changed from compressive towards tensile. Furthermore, pronounced anisotropy is seen in the transport properties. The results show that the quantum Hall effect, which is quite similar to that of unstrained (112)-oriented films, is independent of the presence of bulk Dirac nodes. Its appearance is consistent with the topological surface states that are a characteristic of the topological Z2 invariant.
S. L. Zhang, A. A. Burkov, I. Martin, and O G. Heinonen. Spin-to-charge conversion in magnetic Weyl semimetals. ArXiv April 2019.
Weyl semimetals (WSMs) are a newly discovered class of quantum materials which can host a number of exotic bulk transport properties, such as the chiral magnetic effect, negative magneto-resistance, and the anomalous Hall effect. In this work, we investigate theoretically the spin-to-charge conversion in a bilayer consisting of a magnetic WSM and a normal metal (NM), where a charge current can be induced in the WSM by an spin current injection at the interface. We show that the induced charge current exhibits a peculiar anisotropy: it vanishes along the magnetization orientation of the magnetic WSM, regardless of the direction of the injected spin. This anisotropy originates from the unique band structure of magnetic WSMs and distinguishes the spin-to-charge conversion effect in WSM/NM structures from that observed in other systems, such as heterostructures involving heavy metals or topological insulators. The induced charge current depends strongly on injected spin orientation, as well as on the position of the Fermi level relative to the Weyl nodes and the separation between them. These dependencies provide additional means to control and manipulate spin-charge conversion in these topological materials.
N. Sirica, R. I. Tobey, L. X. Zhao, G. F. Chen, B. Xu, R. Yang, B. Shen, D. A. Yarotski, P. Bowlan, S. A. Trugman, J.-X. Zhu, Y. M. Dai, A. K. Azad, N. Ni, X. G. Qiu, A. J. Taylor and R. P. Prasankumar. Tracking ultrafast photocurrents in the Weyl semimetal TaAs using THz emission spectroscopy. Physical Review Letters 1222, 197401 (2019).
We investigate polarization-dependent ultrafast photocurrents in the Weyl semimetal TaAs using terahertz (THz) emission spectroscopy. Our results reveal that highly directional, transient photocurrents are generated along the non-centrosymmetric c-axis regardless of incident light polarization, while helicity-dependent photocurrents are excited within the ab-plane. This is consistent with static photocurrent experiments, and provides additional insight into their microscopic origin by way of the dynamical information gained from the emitted THz waveform. THz emission spectroscopy is thus a powerful, contact-free approach for distinguishing between injection and shift photocurrents by unraveling the polarization dependence, directionality, and intrinsic timescales that underlie their generation and decay.