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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Jul 11;113(2):027603. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Experimental realization of a three-dimensional Dirac semimetal.

Author information

1
Institute for Solid State Research, IFW Dresden, P.O. Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany.
2
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.
3
Institute for Solid State Research, IFW Dresden, P.O. Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany and Institut fur Festkörperphysik, Technische Universität Dresden, D-01171 Dresden, Germany.

Abstract

We report the direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) Dirac semimetal phase in cadmium arsenide (Cd(3)As(2)) by means of angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We identify two momentum regions where electronic states that strongly disperse in all directions form narrow conelike structures, and thus prove the existence of the long sought 3D Dirac points. This electronic structure naturally explains why Cd(3)As(2) has one of the highest known bulk electron mobilities. This realization of a 3D Dirac semimetal in Cd(3)As(2) not only opens a direct path to a wide spectrum of applications, but also offers a robust platform for engineering topologically nontrivial phases including Weyl semimetals and quantum spin Hall systems.

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