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Observation of Fermi Arc Surface States in a Topological Metal: A New Type of 2D Electron Gas beyond Z2 Topological Insulators

Author(s): Xu, Su-Yang; Liu, Chang; Kushwaha, Satya K; Sankar, Raman; Krizan, Jason W; et al

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Abstract: In a topological insulator, it is the electrons on the surface or edge that carry the signature of topology. Recently, a novel topological state has been proposed in metals or semimetals (gapless) whose band-structure is similar to that of a three-dimensional analog of graphene. However, to this date the signature of its topology remains an open question. We report the experimental discovery of a pair of polarized Fermi arc surface state modes in the form of a new type of two-dimensional polarized electron gas on the surfaces of Dirac semimetals. These Fermi arc surface states (FASS) are observed to connect across an even number of bulk band gapless nodes and found to have their spin uniquely locked to their momentum. We show that these states are distinctly different from the topological surface states (TSS) seen in all known topological insulators. Our observed exotic two-dimensional states not only uncover the novel topology of gapless Dirac metals (such as sodium tribismuth Na$_3$Bi) but also opens new research frontiers for the utilization of topological Fermi arc electron gases for a wide range of fundamental physics and spintronic studies.
Citation: Xu, Su-Yang, Liu, Chang, Kushwaha, Satya K, Sankar, Raman, Krizan, Jason W, Belopolski, Ilya, Neupane, Madhab, Bian, Guang, Alidoust, Nasser, Chang, Tay-Rong, Jeng, Horng-Tay, Huang, Cheng-Yi, Tsai, Wei-Feng, Lin, Hsin, Shibayev, Pavel P, Chou, Fang-Cheng, Cava, Robert J, Hasan, M Zahid. (Observation of Fermi Arc Surface States in a Topological Metal: A New Type of 2D Electron Gas beyond Z2 Topological Insulators. Science, 347 (294 - 298
Pages: 294 - 298
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Science

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