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ACS Nano. 2016 Jan 26;10(1):1378-85. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b06807. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

Atomic-Scale Visualization of Quantum Interference on a Weyl Semimetal Surface by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Topological Quantum Matter and Spectroscopy (B7), Department of Physics, Princeton University , Princeton, New Jersey 08544, United States.
2
International Center for Quantum Materials, School of Physics, Peking University , Peking, China.
3
Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and Graphene Research Centre, National University of Singapore , 6 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117546.
4
Department of Physics, National University of Singapore , 2 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117542.
5
Center for Condensed Matter Sciences, National Taiwan University , Taipei 10617, Taiwan.
6
Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University , Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan.
7
Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, Princeton University , 70 Prospect Avenue, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, United States.
8
Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, Princeton University , Princeton, New Jersey 08544, United States.
9
Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica , Taipei 11529, Taiwan.
10
Department of Physics, Northeastern University , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States.
11
Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter, Beijing, 100871, China.

Abstract

Weyl semimetals may open a new era in condensed matter physics, materials science, and nanotechnology after graphene and topological insulators. We report the first atomic scale view of the surface states of a Weyl semimetal (NbP) using scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy. We observe coherent quantum interference patterns that arise from the scattering of quasiparticles near point defects on the surface. The measurements reveal the surface electronic structure both below and above the chemical potential in both real and reciprocal spaces. Moreover, the interference maps uncover the scattering processes of NbP's exotic surface states. Through comparison between experimental data and theoretical calculations, we further discover that the orbital and/or spin texture of the surface bands may suppress certain scattering channels on NbP. These results provide a comprehensive understanding of electronic properties on Weyl semimetal surfaces.

KEYWORDS:

Weyl semimetal; scanning tunneling microscopy; topological matter

PMID:
26743693
DOI:
10.1021/acsnano.5b06807

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