Research Article

Discovery of a Weyl fermion semimetal and topological Fermi arcs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6248, pp. 613-617
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9297
  • Fig. 1 Topology and electronic structure of TaAs.

    (A) Body-centered tetragonal structure of TaAs, shown as stacked Ta and As layers. The lattice of TaAs does not have space inversion symmetry. (B) STM topographic image of TaAs’s (001) surface taken at the bias voltage –300 mV, revealing the surface lattice constant. (C) First-principles band structure calculations of TaAs without spin-orbit coupling. The blue box highlights the locations where bulk bands touch in the BZ. (D) Illustration of the simplest Weyl semimetal state that has two single Weyl nodes with the opposite (Embedded Image) chiral charges in the bulk. (E) In the absence of spin-orbit coupling, there are two line nodes on the Embedded Image mirror plane and two line nodes on the Embedded Image mirror plane (red loops). In the presence of spin-orbit coupling, each line node reduces into six Weyl nodes (small black and white circles). Black and white show the opposite chiral charges of the Weyl nodes. (F) A schematic (not to scale) showing the projected Weyl nodes and their projected chiral charges. (G) Theoretically calculated band structure (26) of the Fermi surface on the (001) surface of TaAs. (H) The ARPES-measured Fermi surface of the (001) cleaving plane of TaAs. The high-symmetry points of the surface BZ are noted.

  • Fig. 2 Observation of topological Fermi arc surface states on the (001) surface of TaAs.

    (A) ARPES Fermi surface map and constant–binding energy contours measured with incident photon energy of Embedded Image. (B) High-resolution ARPES Fermi surface map of the crescent Fermi arcs. The k-space range of this map is defined by the blue box in (A). (C and D) Energy dispersion maps along cuts I and II. (E) Same Fermi surface map as in (B). The dotted lines define the k-space direction for cuts I and II. The numbers 1 to 6 denote the Fermi crossings that are located on cuts I and II. The white arrows show the evolution of the constant-energy contours as one varies the binding energy, which is obtained from the dispersion maps in (C) and (D). (F) A schematic showing the evolution of the Fermi arcs as a function of energy, which clearly distinguishes between two Fermi arcs and a closed contour. (G) The difference between the constant-energy contours at the binding energy Embedded Image and the binding energy Embedded Image, from which one can visualize the evolution of the constant-energy contours through Embedded Image space. The range of this map is shown by the white dotted box in (A).

  • Fig. 3 Observation of bulk Weyl fermion cones and Weyl nodes in TaAs.

    (A and B) First-principles calculated and ARPES-measured Embedded Image Fermi surface maps at Embedded Image, respectively. (C) ARPES-measured and first-principles calculated Embedded Image Fermi surface maps at the Embedded Image value that corresponds to the W2 Weyl nodes. The dotted line defines the k-space cut direction for cut 1, which goes through two nearby W2 Weyl nodes along the Embedded Image direction. The black cross defines cut 2, which means that the Embedded Image values are fixed at the location of a W2 Weyl node and one varies the Embedded Image value. (D) ARPES Embedded Image dispersion map along the cut 1 direction, which clearly shows the two linearly dispersive W2 Weyl cones. (E) ARPES Embedded Image dispersion map along the cut 2 direction, showing that the W2 Weyl cone also disperses linearly along the out-of-plane Embedded Image direction. (F) First-principles calculated Embedded Image dispersion that corresponds to the cut 2 shown in (E). (G) ARPES measured Embedded Image Fermi surface maps at the Embedded Image value that corresponds to the W1 Weyl nodes. The dotted line defines the k-space cut direction for cut 3, which goes through the W1 Weyl nodes along the Embedded Image direction. (H and I) ARPES Embedded Image dispersion map and its zoomed-in version along the cut 3 direction, revealing the linearly dispersive W1 Weyl cone. (J) First-principles calculation shows a 14-meV energy difference between the W1 and W2 Weyl nodes.

  • Fig. 4 Surface-bulk correspondence and the topologically nontrivial state in TaAs.

    (A) Low–photon-energy ARPES Fermi surface map (Embedded Image) from Fig. 2A, with the SX-ARPES map (Embedded Image) from Fig. 3C overlaid on top of it to scale, showing that the locations of the projected bulk Weyl nodes correspond to the terminations of the surface Fermi arcs. (B) The bottom shows a rectangular tube in the bulk BZ that encloses four W2 Weyl nodes. These four W2 Weyl nodes project onto two points at the (001) surface BZ with projected chiral charges of Embedded Image, shown by the brown circles. The top surface shows the ARPES measured crescent surface Fermi arcs that connect these two projected Weyl nodes. (C) Surface state Fermi surface map at the k-space region corresponding to the terminations of the crescent Fermi arcs. The k-space region is defined by the black dotted box in (E). (D) Bulk Fermi surface map at the k-space region corresponding to the W2 Weyl nodes. The k-space region is defined by the black dotted box in Fig. 3C. (E) ARPES and schematic of the crescent-shaped copropagating Fermi arcs. (F) High resolution ARPES maps of the Fermi arcs and the Weyl fermion nodes.

Supplementary Materials

  • Discovery of a Weyl Fermion semimetal and topological Fermi arcs

    Su-Yang Xu, Ilya Belopolski, Nasser Alidoust, Madhab Neupane, Guang Bian, Chenglong Zhang, Raman Sankar, Guoqing Chang, Zhujun Yuan, Chi-Cheng Lee, Shin- Ming Huang, Hao Zheng, Jie Ma, Daniel S. Sanchez, BaoKai Wang, Arun Bansil, Fangcheng Chou, Pavel P. Shibayev, Hsin Lin, Shuang Jia, M. Zahid Hasan

    Materials/Methods, Supplementary Text, Tables, Figures, and/or References

    Download Supplement
    • Materials and Methods
    • Supplementary Text
    • Figs. S1 to S10
    • References

Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article