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Concept# Weyl semimetal

Summary

Weyl fermions are massless chiral fermions embodying the mathematical concept of a Weyl spinor. Weyl spinors in turn play an important role in quantum field theory and the Standard Model, where they are a building block for fermions in quantum field theory. Weyl spinors are a solution to the Dirac equation derived by Hermann Weyl, called the Weyl equation. For example, one-half of a charged Dirac fermion of a definite chirality is a Weyl fermion.
Weyl fermions may be realized as emergent quasiparticles in a low-energy condensed matter system. This prediction was first proposed by Conyers Herring in 1937, in the context of electronic band structures of solid state systems such as electronic crystals. Topological materials in the vicinity of band inversion transition became a primary target in search of topologically protected bulk electronic band crossings.
The first (non-electronic) liquid state which is suggested, has similarly emergent but neutral excitation and theoretically interpreted superfluid's chiral anomaly as observation of Fermi points is in Helium-3 A superfluid phase. Crystalline tantalum arsenide (TaAs) is the first discovered topological Weyl fermion semimetal which exhibits topological surface Fermi arcs where Weyl fermion is electrically charged along the line of original suggestion by Herring. An electronic Weyl fermion is not only charged but stable at room temperature where there is no such superfluid or liquid state known.
A Weyl semimetal is a solid state crystal whose low energy excitations are Weyl fermions that carry electrical charge even at room temperatures. A Weyl semimetal enables realization of Weyl fermions in electronic systems. It is a topologically nontrivial phase of matter, together with Helium-3 A superfluid phase, that broadens the topological classification beyond topological insulators. The Weyl fermions at zero energy correspond to points of bulk band degeneracy, the Weyl nodes (or Fermi points) that are separated in momentum space. Weyl fermions have distinct chiralities, either left handed or right handed.

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Weyl equation

In physics, particularly in quantum field theory, the Weyl equation is a relativistic wave equation for describing massless spin-1/2 particles called Weyl fermions. The equation is named after Hermann Weyl. The Weyl fermions are one of the three possible types of elementary fermions, the other two being the Dirac and the Majorana fermions. None of the elementary particles in the Standard Model are Weyl fermions. Previous to the confirmation of the neutrino oscillations, it was considered possible that the neutrino might be a Weyl fermion (it is now expected to be either a Dirac or a Majorana fermion).

Dirac fermion

In physics, a Dirac fermion is a spin-1⁄2 particle (a fermion) which is different from its antiparticle. A vast majority of fermions fall under this category. In particle physics, all fermions in the standard model have distinct antiparticles (perhaps excepting neutrinos) and hence are Dirac fermions. They are named after Paul Dirac, and can be modeled with the Dirac equation. A Dirac fermion is equivalent to two Weyl fermions. The counterpart to a Dirac fermion is a Majorana fermion, a particle that must be its own antiparticle.

Graphene

Graphene (ˈgræfiːn) is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice nanostructure. The name is derived from "graphite" and the suffix -ene, reflecting the fact that the graphite allotrope of carbon contains numerous double bonds. Each atom in a graphene sheet is connected to its three nearest neighbors by σ-bonds and a delocalised π-bond, which contributes to a valence band that extends over the whole sheet.

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Topological materials have been a main focus of studies in the past decade due to their protected properties that can be exploited for the fabrication of new devices. Among them, Weyl semimetals are a class of topological semimetals with nontrivial linear ...

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