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Creating stable Floquet-Weyl semimetals by laser-driving of 3D Dirac materials

TitleCreating stable Floquet-Weyl semimetals by laser-driving of 3D Dirac materials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHubener, H., Sentef M. A., De Giovannini U., Kemper A. F., & Rubio A.
Abstract

Tuning and stabilizing topological states, such as Weyl semimetals, Dirac semimetals or topological insulators, is emerging as one of the major topics in materials science. Periodic driving of many-body systems offers a platform to design Floquet states of matter with tunable electronic properties on ultrafast timescales. Here we show by first principles calculations how femtosecond laser pulses with circularly polarized light can be used to switch between Weyl semimetal, Dirac semimetal and topological insulator states in a prototypical three-dimensional (3D) Dirac material, Na3Bi. Our findings are general and apply to any 3D Dirac semimetal. We discuss the concept of time-dependent bands and steering of Floquet-Weyl points and demonstrate how light can enhance topological protection against lattice perturbations. This work has potential practical implications for the ultrafast switching of materials properties, such as optical band gaps or anomalous magnetoresistance.

JournalNATURE COMMUNICATIONS
Volume8
DOI10.1038/ncomms13940
Date PublishedJAN 17
Type of ArticleArticle
Citation Key ISI:000391931400001