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Helicity-dependent photocurrents in the chiral Weyl semimetal RhSi

Dylan Rees1*, Kaustuv Manna2*, Baozhu Lu3*, Takahiro Morimoto4*, Horst Borrmann2*, Claudia Felser2*, Joel Moore1*, Darius Torchinsky3*, Joseph Orenstein1*

1 Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA and Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

2 Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden, D-01187, Germany

3 Department of Physics, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA

4 Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA and Department of Applied Physics, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

* Corresponding authors emails: rees@berkeley.edu, kaustuv.manna@cpfs.mpg.de, baozhulu@temple.edu, morimoto@ap.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp, borrmann@cpfs.mpg.de, claudia.felser@cpfs.mpg.de, jemoore@berkeley.edu, dtorchin@temple.edu, jworenstein@lbl.gov
DOI10.24435/materialscloud:2020.0034/v1 [version v1]

Publication date: Mar 26, 2020

How to cite this record

Dylan Rees, Kaustuv Manna, Baozhu Lu, Takahiro Morimoto, Horst Borrmann, Claudia Felser, Joel Moore, Darius Torchinsky, Joseph Orenstein, Helicity-dependent photocurrents in the chiral Weyl semimetal RhSi, Materials Cloud Archive 2020.0034/v1 (2020), doi: 10.24435/materialscloud:2020.0034/v1.


Weyl semimetals are crystals in which electron bands cross at isolated points in momentum space. Associated with each crossing point (or Weyl node) is an integer topological invariant known as the Berry monopole charge. The discovery of new classes of Weyl materials is driving the search for novel properties that derive directly from the Berry charge. The circular photogalvanic effect (CPGE), whereby circular polarized light generates a current whose direction depends on the helicity of the absorbed photons, is a striking example of a macroscopic property that emerges from Weyl topology. Recently, it was predicted that the rate of current generation associated with optical transitions near a Weyl node is proportional to its monopole charge. In Weyl semimetals that retain mirror symmetry the current is strongly suppressed by contributions from energy equivalent nodes of opposite charge. However, when all mirror symmetries are broken, as in chiral Weyl systems, nodes with opposite topological charge are no longer degenerate, opening a window of photon energies where the CPGE derived from the topological band structure can emerge. In this work we report the photon-energy dependence of the CPGE in the chiral Weyl semimetal RhSi. The spectrum reveals a helicity-sensitive response in a low-energy window that closes at 0.65 eV, in quantitative agreement with the bandstucture recently predicted from DFT calculations.

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External references

Preprint (Paper in which the method is described.)



Version history:

2020.0034/v1 (version v1) [This version] Mar 26, 2020 DOI10.24435/materialscloud:2020.0034/v1