Resistivity plateau and extreme magnetoresistance in LaSb

F. F. Tafti, Q. D. Gibson, S. K. Kushwaha, N. Haldolaarachchige, R. J. Cava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Time reversal symmetry (TRS) protects the metallic surface modes of topological insulators (TIs). The transport signature of such surface states is a plateau that arrests the exponential divergence of the insulating bulk with decreasing temperature. This universal behaviour is observed in all TI candidates ranging from Bi 2 Te 2 Se to SmB 6. Recently, extreme magnetoresistance (XMR) has been reported in several topological semimetals which exhibit TI universal resistivity behaviour only when breaking time reversal symmetry, a regime where TIs theoretically cease to exist. Among these materials, TaAs and NbP are nominated as Weyl semimetals owing to their lack of inversion symmetry, Cd 3 As 2 is known as a Dirac semimetal owing to its linear band crossing at the Fermi level, and WTe 2 is termed a resonant compensated semimetal owing to its perfect electron-hole symmetry. Here we introduce LaSb, a simple rock-salt structure material that lacks broken inversion symmetry, perfect linear band crossing, and perfect electron-hole symmetry yet exhibits all the exotic field-induced behaviours of these more complex semimetals. It shows a field-induced universal TI resistivity with a plateau at roughly 15 K, ultrahigh mobility of carriers in the plateau region, quantum oscillations with the angle dependence of a two-dimensional Fermi surface, and XMR of about one million percent at 9 T. Owing to its structural simplicity, LaSb represents an ideal model system to formulate a theoretical understanding of the exotic consequences of breaking time reversal symmetry in topological semimetals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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