skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2023

Title: Nonsymmorphic symmetry-protected band crossings in a square-net metal PtPb4
Abstract Topological semimetals with symmetry-protected band crossings have emerged as a rich landscape to explore intriguing electronic phenomena. Nonsymmorphic symmetries in particular have been shown to play an important role in protecting the crossings along a line (rather than a point) in momentum space. Here we report experimental and theoretical evidence for Dirac nodal line crossings along the Brillouin zone boundaries in PtPb 4 , arising from the nonsymmorphic symmetry of its crystal structure. Interestingly, while the nodal lines would remain gapless in the absence of spin–orbit coupling (SOC), the SOC, in this case, plays a detrimental role to topology by lifting the band degeneracy everywhere except at a set of isolated points. Nevertheless, the nodal line is observed to have a bandwidth much smaller than that found in density functional theory (DFT). Our findings reveal PtPb 4 to be a material system with narrow crossings approximately protected by nonsymmorphic crystalline symmetries.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1917511 1921581
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
npj Quantum Materials
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Most topological insulators (TIs) discovered today in spinful systems can be transformed from topological semimetals (TSMs) with vanishing bulk gap via introducing the spin-orbit coupling (SOC), which manifests the intrinsic links between the gapped topological insulator phases and the gapless TSMs. Recently, we have discovered a family of TSMs in time-reversal invariant spinless systems, which host butterfly-like nodal-lines (NLs) consisting of a pair of identical concentric intersecting coplanar ellipses (CICE). In this Communication, we unveil the intrinsic link between this exotic class of nodal-line semimetals (NLSMs) and a $${{\mathbb{Z}}}_{4}$$ Z 4 = 2 topological crystalline insulator (TCI), by including substantial SOC. We demonstrate that in three space groups (i.e., P b a m (No.55), P 4/ m b m (No.127), and P 4 2 / m b c (No.135)), the TCI supports a fourfold Dirac fermion on the (001) surface protected by two glide symmetries, which originates from the intertwined drumhead surface states of the CICE NLs. The higher order topology is further demonstrated by the emergence of one-dimensional helical hinge states, indicating the discovery of a higher order topological insulator protected by a glide symmetry.
  2. Two-dimensional (2D) Dirac-like electron gases have attracted tremendous research interest ever since the discovery of free-standing graphene. The linear energy dispersion and nontrivial Berry phase play a pivotal role in the electronic, optical, mechanical, and chemical properties of 2D Dirac materials. The known 2D Dirac materials are gapless only within certain approximations, for example, in the absence of spin–orbit coupling (SOC). Here, we report a route to establishing robust Dirac cones in 2D materials with nonsymmorphic crystal lattice. The nonsymmorphic symmetry enforces Dirac-like band dispersions around certain high-symmetry momenta in the presence of SOC. Through μ-ARPES measurements, we observe Dirac-like band dispersions in α-bismuthene. The nonsymmorphic lattice symmetry is confirmed by μ-low-energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. Our first-principles simulations and theoretical topological analysis demonstrate the correspondence between nonsymmorphic symmetry and Dirac states. This mechanism can be straightforwardly generalized to other nonsymmorphic materials. The results enlighten the search of symmetry-enforced Dirac fermions in the vast uncharted world of nonsymmorphic 2D materials.
  3. Abstract

    Trigonal tellurium (Te) is a chiral semiconductor that lacks both mirror and inversion symmetries, resulting in complex band structures with Weyl crossings and unique spin textures. Detailed time-resolved polarized reflectance spectroscopy is used to investigate its band structure and carrier dynamics. The polarized transient spectra reveal optical transitions between the uppermost spin-splitH4andH5and the degenerateH6valence bands (VB) and the lowest degenerateH6conduction band (CB) as well as a higher energy transition at the L-point. Surprisingly, the degeneracy of theH6CB (a proposed Weyl node) is lifted and the spin-split VB gap is reduced upon photoexcitation before relaxing to equilibrium as the carriers decay. Using ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we conclude that the dynamic band structure is caused by a photoinduced shear strain in the Te film that breaks the screw symmetry of the crystal. The band-edge anisotropy is also reflected in the hot carrier decay rate, which is a factor of two slower along the c-axis than perpendicular to it. The majority of photoexcited carriers near the band-edge are seen to recombine within 30 ps while higher lying transitions observed near 1.2 eV appear to have substantially longer lifetimes, potentially due to contributions of intervalley processes in the recombination rate. These newmore »findings shed light on the strong correlation between photoinduced carriers and electronic structure in anisotropic crystals, which opens a potential pathway for designing novel Te-based devices that take advantage of the topological structures as well as strong spin-related properties.

    « less
  4. Synthetic spaces allow physicists to bypass constraints imposed by certain physical laws in experiments. Here, we show that a synthetic torus, which consists of a ring trap in the real space and internal states of ultracold atoms cyclically coupled by Laguerre-Gaussian Raman beams, could be threaded by a net effective magnetic flux through its surface—an impossible mission in the real space. Such a synthetic Hall torus gives rise to a periodic lattice in real dimensions, in which the periodicity of the density modulation of atoms fractionalizes that of the Hamiltonian. Correspondingly, the energy spectrum is featured by multiple bands grouping into clusters with nonsymmorphic-symmetry-protected band crossings in each cluster, leading to swaps of wave packets in Bloch oscillations. Our scheme allows physicists to glue two synthetic Hall tori such that localization may emerge in a quasicrystalline lattice. If the Laguerre-Gaussian Raman beams and ring traps were replaced by linear Raman beams and ordinary traps, a synthetic Hall cylinder could be realized and deliver many of the aforementioned phenomena.
  5. Abstract Unconventional superconductors have Cooper pairs with lower symmetries than in conventional superconductors. In most unconventional superconductors, the additional symmetry breaking occurs in relation to typical ingredients such as strongly correlated Fermi liquid phases, magnetic fluctuations, or strong spin-orbit coupling in noncentrosymmetric structures. In this article, we show that the time-reversal symmetry breaking in the superconductor LaNiGa 2 is enabled by its previously unknown topological electronic band structure, with Dirac lines and a Dirac loop at the Fermi level. Two symmetry related Dirac points even remain degenerate under spin-orbit coupling. These unique topological features enable an unconventional superconducting gap in which time-reversal symmetry can be broken in the absence of other typical ingredients. Our findings provide a route to identify a new type of unconventional superconductors based on nonsymmorphic symmetries and will enable future discoveries of topological crystalline superconductors.