Princeton University2014-07-07 4:26 PM

Observation of a three-dimensional topological Dirac semimetal phase in high-mobility Cd3As2 


Symmetry-broken three-dimensional (3D) topological Dirac semimetal systems with strong spin-orbit coupling can host many exotic Hall-like phenomena and Weyl fermion quantum transport. Here, using high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we performed systematic electronic structure studies on Cd3As2, which has been predicted to be the parent material, from which many unusual topological phases can be derived. We observe a highly linear bulk band crossing to form a 3D dispersive Dirac cone projected at the Brillouin zone centre by studying the (001)-cleaved surface. Remarkably, an unusually high in-plane Fermi velocity up to 1.5 × 106 ms/−1 is observed in our samples, where the mobility is known up to 40,000 cm2 V/−1s/−1, suggesting that Cd3As2 can be a promising candidate as an anisotropic-hypercone (three-dimensional) high spin-orbit analogue of 3D graphene. Our discovery of the Dirac-like bulk topological semimetal phase in Cd3As2 opens the door for exploring higher dimensional spin-orbit Dirac physics in a real material.

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