Unconventional chiral charge order in kagome superconductor KV3Sb5

Yu Xiao Jiang, Jia Xin Yin, M. Michael Denner, Nana Shumiya, Brenden R. Ortiz, Gang Xu, Zurab Guguchia, Junyi He, Md Shafayat Hossain, Xiaoxiong Liu, Jacob Ruff, Linus Kautzsch, Songtian S. Zhang, Guoqing Chang, Ilya Belopolski, Qi Zhang, Tyler A. Cochran, Daniel Multer, Maksim Litskevich, Zi Jia ChengXian P. Yang, Ziqiang Wang, Ronny Thomale, Titus Neupert, Stephen D. Wilson, M. Zahid Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

409 Scopus citations


Intertwining quantum order and non-trivial topology is at the frontier of condensed matter physics1–4. A charge-density-wave-like order with orbital currents has been proposed for achieving the quantum anomalous Hall effect5,6 in topological materials and for the hidden phase in cuprate high-temperature superconductors7,8. However, the experimental realization of such an order is challenging. Here we use high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy to discover an unconventional chiral charge order in a kagome material, KV3Sb5, with both a topological band structure and a superconducting ground state. Through both topography and spectroscopic imaging, we observe a robust 2 × 2 superlattice. Spectroscopically, an energy gap opens at the Fermi level, across which the 2 × 2 charge modulation exhibits an intensity reversal in real space, signalling charge ordering. At the impurity-pinning-free region, the strength of intrinsic charge modulations further exhibits chiral anisotropy with unusual magnetic field response. Theoretical analysis of our experiments suggests a tantalizing unconventional chiral charge density wave in the frustrated kagome lattice, which can not only lead to a large anomalous Hall effect with orbital magnetism, but also be a precursor of unconventional superconductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1357
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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