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Discovery of topological Weyl fermion lines and drumhead surface states in a room temperature magnet

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Science  20 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6459, pp. 1278-1281
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav2327

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Magnetic Weyl semimetals

Weyl semimetals (WSMs)—materials that host exotic quasiparticles called Weyl fermions—must break either spatial inversion or time-reversal symmetry. A number of WSMs that break inversion symmetry have been identified, but showing unambiguously that a material is a time-reversal-breaking WSM is tricky. Three groups now provide spectroscopic evidence for this latter state in magnetic materials (see the Perspective by da Silva Neto). Belopolski et al. probed the material Co2MnGa using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, revealing exotic drumhead surface states. Using the same technique, Liu et al. studied the material Co3Sn2S2, which was complemented by the scanning tunneling spectroscopy measurements of Morali et al. These magnetic WSM states provide an ideal setting for exotic transport effects.

Science, this issue p. 1278, p. 1282, p. 1286; see also p. 1248

Abstract

Topological matter is known to exhibit unconventional surface states and anomalous transport owing to unusual bulk electronic topology. In this study, we use photoemission spectroscopy and quantum transport to elucidate the topology of the room temperature magnet Co2MnGa. We observe sharp bulk Weyl fermion line dispersions indicative of nontrivial topological invariants present in the magnetic phase. On the surface of the magnet, we observe electronic wave functions that take the form of drumheads, enabling us to directly visualize the crucial components of the bulk-boundary topological correspondence. By considering the Berry curvature field associated with the observed topological Weyl fermion lines, we quantitatively account for the giant anomalous Hall response observed in this magnet. Our experimental results suggest a rich interplay of strongly interacting electrons and topology in quantum matter.

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