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Discovery of a Three-Dimensional Topological Dirac Semimetal, Na3Bi

Science  16 Jan 2014:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1245085

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Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) topological Dirac semimetals (TDSs) represent a novel state of quantum matter that can be viewed as “3D graphene”. In contrast to two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions in graphene or on the surface of 3D topological insulators, TDSs possess 3D Dirac fermions in the bulk. By investigating the electronic structure of Na3Bi with angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we discovered 3D Dirac fermions with linear dispersions along all momentum directions. Furthermore, we demonstrated the robustness of 3D Dirac fermions in Na3Bi against in situ surface doping. Our results establish Na3Bi as a model system of 3D TDSs, which can serve as an ideal platform for the systematic study of quantum phase transitions between rich topological quantum states.

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