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Universal signatures of Fermi arcs in quasiparticle interference on the surface of Weyl semimetals

  • Kourtis, Stefanos
  • Li, Jian
  • Wang, Zhijun
  • Yazdani, Ali
  • Bernevig, B. Andrei
Published Article
Publication Date
Jan 26, 2016
Submission Date
Dec 08, 2015
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.041109
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Weyl semimetals constitute a newly discovered class of three-dimensional topological materials with linear touchings of valence and conduction bands in the bulk. The most striking property of topological origin in these materials, so far unequivocally observed only in photoemission experiments, is the presence of open constant-energy contours at the boundary --- the so-called Fermi arcs. In this work, we establish the universal characteristics of Fermi-arc contributions to surface quasiparticle interference. Using a general phenomenological model, we determine the defining interference patterns stemming from the existence of Fermi arcs in a surface band structure. We then trace these patterns in both simple tight-binding models and realistic ab initio calculations. Our results show that definitive signatures of Fermi arcs can be observed in existing and proposed Weyl semimetals using scanning tunneling spectroscopy.

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