Atomic-scale visualization of quantum interference on a weyl semimetal surface by scanning tunneling microscopy

Hao Zheng, Su Yang Xu, Guang Bian, Cheng Guo, Guoqing Chang, Daniel S. Sanchez, Ilya Belopolski, Chi Cheng Lee, Shin Ming Huang, Xiao Zhang, Raman Sankar, Nasser Alidoust, Tay Rong Chang, Fan Wu, Titus Neupert, Fangcheng Chou, Horng Tay Jeng, Nan Yao, Arun Bansil, Shuang JiaHsin Lin, M. Zahid Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Weyl semimetals may open a new era in condensed matter physics, materials science, and nanotechnology after graphene and topological insulators. We report the first atomic scale view of the surface states of a Weyl semimetal (NbP) using scanning tunneling microscopy/ spectroscopy. We observe coherent quantum interference patterns that arise from the scattering of quasiparticles near point defects on the surface. The measurements reveal the surface electronic structure both below and above the chemical potential in both real and reciprocal spaces. Moreover, the interference maps uncover the scattering processes of NbP's exotic surface states. Through comparison between experimental data and theoretical calculations, we further discover that the orbital and/or spin texture of the surface bands may suppress certain scattering channels on NbP. These results provide a comprehensive understanding of electronic properties on Weyl semimetal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1385
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Topological matter
  • Weyl semimetal


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