The topology of Weyl semimetals requires the existence of unique surface states. Surface states have been visualized in spectroscopy measurements, but their connection to the topological character of the material remains largely unexplored. 1T'-MoTe2, presents a unique opportunity to study this connection. This material undergoes a phase transition at 240 K that changes the structure from orthorhombic (putative Weyl semimetal) to monoclinic (trivial metal), while largely maintaining its bulk electronic structure. Here, we show from temperature-dependent quasiparticle interference measurements that this structural transition also acts as a topological switch for surface states in 1T'-MoTe2. At low temperature, we observe strong quasiparticle scattering, consistent with theoretical predictions and photoemission measurements for the surface states in this material. In contrast, measurements performed at room temperature show the complete absence of the scattering wavevectors associated with the trivial surface states. These distinct quasiparticle scattering behaviors show that 1T'-MoTe2 is ideal for separating topological and trivial electronic phenomena via temperature-dependent measurements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics