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Mirror protected dirac fermions on a weyl semimetal NbP surface


Abstract

The first Weyl semimetal was recently discovered in the NbP class of compounds. Although the topology of these novel materials has been identified, the surface properties are not yet fully understood. By means of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we find that NbP’s (001) surface hosts a pair of Dirac cones protected by mirror symmetry. Through our high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, we resolve the quantum interference patterns arising from these novel Dirac fermions and reveal their electronic structure, including the linear dispersions. Our data, in agreement with our theoretical calculations, uncover further interesting features of the Weyl semimetal NbP’s already exotic surface. Moreover, we discuss the similarities and distinctions between the Dirac fermions here and those in topological crystalline insulators in terms of symmetry protection and topology.

Abstract

The first Weyl semimetal was recently discovered in the NbP class of compounds. Although the topology of these novel materials has been identified, the surface properties are not yet fully understood. By means of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we find that NbP’s (001) surface hosts a pair of Dirac cones protected by mirror symmetry. Through our high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, we resolve the quantum interference patterns arising from these novel Dirac fermions and reveal their electronic structure, including the linear dispersions. Our data, in agreement with our theoretical calculations, uncover further interesting features of the Weyl semimetal NbP’s already exotic surface. Moreover, we discuss the similarities and distinctions between the Dirac fermions here and those in topological crystalline insulators in terms of symmetry protection and topology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:29 Dec 2017 10:08
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 16:57
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.196403

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