Dirac metal to topological metal transition at a structural phase change in Au2 Pb and prediction of Z2 topology for the superconductor

Leslie M. Schoop, Lilia S. Xie, Ru Chen, Quinn D. Gibson, Saul H. Lapidus, Itamar Kimchi, Max Hirschberger, Neel Haldolaarachchige, Mazhar N. Ali, Carina A. Belvin, Tian Liang, Jeffrey B. Neaton, N. P. Ong, Ashvin Vishwanath, R. J. Cava

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30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three-dimensional Dirac semimetals (DSMs) are materials that have massless Dirac electrons and exhibit exotic physical properties. It has been suggested that structurally distorting a DSM can create a topological insulator but this has not yet been experimentally verified. Furthermore, Majorana fermions have been theoretically proposed to exist in materials that exhibit both superconductivity and topological surface states. Here we show that the cubic Laves phase Au2Pb has a bulk Dirac cone that is predicted to gap on cooling through a structural phase transition at 100 K. The low temperature phase can be assigned a Z2=-1 topological index, and this phase becomes superconducting below 1.2 K. These characteristics make Au2Pb a unique platform for studying the transition between bulk Dirac electrons and topological surface states as well as studying the interaction of superconductivity with topological surface states, combining many different properties of emergent materials - superconductivity, bulk Dirac electrons, and a topologically nontrivial Z2 invariant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214517
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume91
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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    Schoop, L. M., Xie, L. S., Chen, R., Gibson, Q. D., Lapidus, S. H., Kimchi, I., Hirschberger, M., Haldolaarachchige, N., Ali, M. N., Belvin, C. A., Liang, T., Neaton, J. B., Ong, N. P., Vishwanath, A., & Cava, R. J. (2015). Dirac metal to topological metal transition at a structural phase change in Au2 Pb and prediction of Z2 topology for the superconductor. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 91(21), [214517]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.91.214517