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, Bao Kai Wang, Arun Bansil, Fangcheng Chou, Pavel P. Shibayev, Hsin Lin, Shuang JiaM. Zahid Hasan

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Abstract

A Weyl semimetal is a new state of matter that hosts Weyl fermions as emergent quasiparticles and admits a topological classification that protects Fermi arc surface states on the boundary of a bulk sample. This unusual electronic structure has deep analogies with particle physics and leads to unique topological properties. We report the experimental discovery of a Weyl semimetal, tantalum arsenide (TaAs). Using photoemission spectroscopy, we directly observe Fermi arcs on the surface, as well as the Weyl fermion cones and Weyl nodes in the bulk of TaAs single crystals. We find that Fermi arcs terminate on the Weyl fermion nodes, consistent with their topological character. Our work opens the field for the experimental study of Weyl fermions in physics and materials science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-617
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume349
Issue number6248
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Xu, S. Y., Belopolski, I., Alidoust, N., Neupane, M., Bian, G., Zhang, C., Sankar, R., Chang, G., Yuan, Z., Lee, C. C., Huang, S. M., Zheng, H., Ma, J., Sanchez, D. S., Wang, B. K., Bansil, A., Chou, F., Shibayev, P. P., Lin, H., ... Hasan, M. Z. (2015). Discovery of a Weyl fermion semimetal and topological Fermi arcs. Science, 349(6248), 613-617. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa9297