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Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 15;5:4898. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5898.

Classification of stable three-dimensional Dirac semimetals with nontrivial topology.

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RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.
1] RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan [2] Department of Applied Physics, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.


A three-dimensional (3D) Dirac semimetal (SM) is the 3D analogue of graphene having linear energy dispersion around Fermi points. Owing to the nontrivial topology of electronic wave functions, the 3D Dirac SM shows nontrivial physical properties and hosts various exotic quantum states such as Weyl SMs and topological insulators under proper external conditions. There are several kinds of Dirac SMs proposed theoretically and partly confirmed experimentally, but its unified picture is still missing. Here we propose a general framework to classify stable 3D Dirac SMs in systems having the time-reversal, inversion and uniaxial rotational symmetries. We show that there are two distinct classes of 3D Dirac SMs. In one class, the Dirac SM possesses a single Dirac point (DP) at a time-reversal invariant momentum on the rotation axis. Whereas the other class of Dirac SMs have a pair of DPs created by band inversion, and carry a quantized topological invariant.


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