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Title: Observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe₅

Abstract

The chiral magnetic effect is the generation of electric current induced by chirality imbalance in the presence of magnetic field. It is a macroscopic manifestation of the quantum anomaly in relativistic field theory of chiral fermions (massless spin 1/2 particles with a definite projection of spin on momentum) – a dramatic phenomenon arising from a collective motion of particles and antiparticles in the Dirac sea. The recent discovery of Dirac semimetals with chiral quasi-particles opens a fascinating possibility to study this phenomenon in condensed matter experiments. Here we report on the first observation of chiral magnetic effect through the measurement of magneto-transport in zirconium pentatelluride, ZrTe₅. Our angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy experiments show that this material’s electronic structure is consistent with a 3D Dirac semimetal. We observe a large negative magnetoresistance when magnetic field is parallel with the current. The measured quadratic field dependence of the magnetoconductance is a clear indication of the chiral magnetic effect. Furthermore, the observed phenomenon stems from the effective transmutation of Dirac semimetal into a Weyl semimetal induced by the parallel electric and magnetic fields that represent a topologically nontrivial gauge field background.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States)
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1303010
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1182500; OSTI ID: 1456941
Report Number(s):
BNL-107404-2015-JA; BNL-112484-2016-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473; R&D Project: PO016; PO010; KC0202020; KC0201060
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; electronic properties and materials; theoretical nuclear physics; theoretical particle physics; theoretical physics

Citation Formats

Li, Qiang, Kharzeev, Dmitri E., Zhang, Cheng, Huang, Yuan, Pletikosic, I., Fedorov, A. V., Zhong, R. D., Schneeloch, J. A., Gu, G. D., and Valla, T. Observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe₅. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/nphys3648.
Li, Qiang, Kharzeev, Dmitri E., Zhang, Cheng, Huang, Yuan, Pletikosic, I., Fedorov, A. V., Zhong, R. D., Schneeloch, J. A., Gu, G. D., & Valla, T. Observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe₅. United States. doi:10.1038/nphys3648.
Li, Qiang, Kharzeev, Dmitri E., Zhang, Cheng, Huang, Yuan, Pletikosic, I., Fedorov, A. V., Zhong, R. D., Schneeloch, J. A., Gu, G. D., and Valla, T. Sun . "Observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe₅". United States. doi:10.1038/nphys3648. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1303010.
@article{osti_1303010,
title = {Observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe₅},
author = {Li, Qiang and Kharzeev, Dmitri E. and Zhang, Cheng and Huang, Yuan and Pletikosic, I. and Fedorov, A. V. and Zhong, R. D. and Schneeloch, J. A. and Gu, G. D. and Valla, T.},
abstractNote = {The chiral magnetic effect is the generation of electric current induced by chirality imbalance in the presence of magnetic field. It is a macroscopic manifestation of the quantum anomaly in relativistic field theory of chiral fermions (massless spin 1/2 particles with a definite projection of spin on momentum) – a dramatic phenomenon arising from a collective motion of particles and antiparticles in the Dirac sea. The recent discovery of Dirac semimetals with chiral quasi-particles opens a fascinating possibility to study this phenomenon in condensed matter experiments. Here we report on the first observation of chiral magnetic effect through the measurement of magneto-transport in zirconium pentatelluride, ZrTe₅. Our angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy experiments show that this material’s electronic structure is consistent with a 3D Dirac semimetal. We observe a large negative magnetoresistance when magnetic field is parallel with the current. The measured quadratic field dependence of the magnetoconductance is a clear indication of the chiral magnetic effect. Furthermore, the observed phenomenon stems from the effective transmutation of Dirac semimetal into a Weyl semimetal induced by the parallel electric and magnetic fields that represent a topologically nontrivial gauge field background.},
doi = {10.1038/nphys3648},
journal = {Nature Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Feb 08 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Sun Feb 08 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}

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