Research ArticleTopological Matter

Discovery of a Weyl Fermion semimetal and topological Fermi arcs

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Science  16 Jul 2015:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9297

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A Weyl semimetal is a crystal which hosts Weyl fermions as emergent quasiparticles and admits a topological classification that protects Fermi arc surface states on the boundary of a bulk sample. This unusual electronic structure has deep analogies with particle physics and leads to unique topological properties. We report the experimental discovery of a Weyl semimetal, TaAs. Using photoemission spectroscopy, we directly observe Fermi arcs on the surface, as well as the Weyl fermion cones and Weyl nodes in the bulk of TaAs single crystals. We find that Fermi arcs terminate on the Weyl nodes, consistent with their topological character. Our work opens the field for the experimental study of Weyl fermions in physics and materials science.

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