Coexistence of type-II Dirac point and weak topological phase in Pt 3 Sn

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2017-11-06
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Kim, Minsung
Wang, Cai-Zhuang
Ho, Kai-Ming
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Intriguing topological phases may appear in both insulating and semimetallic states. Topological insulators exhibit topologically nontrivial band inversion, while topological Dirac/Weyl semimetals show “relativistic” linear band crossings. Here, we report an unusual topological state of Pt3Sn, where the two topological features appear simultaneously. Based on first-principles calculations, we show that Pt3Sn is a three-dimensional weak topological semimetal with topologically nontrivial band inversion between the valence and conduction bands, where the band structure also possesses type-II Dirac points at the boundary of two electron pockets. The formation of the Dirac points can be understood in terms of the representations of relevant symmetry groups and the compatibility relations. The topological surface states appear in accordance with the nontrivial bulk band topology. The unique coexistence of the two distinct topological features in Pt3Sn enlarges the material scope in topological physics, and is potentially useful for spintronics.

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