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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Jun 23 2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics