Publication date: Jun 09, 2020
Weyl semimetals in three-dimensional crystals provide the paradigm example of topologically protected band nodes. It is usually taken for granted that a pair of colliding Weyl points annihilate whenever they carry opposite chiral charges. In stark contrast, here we report that Weyl points in systems symmetric under the composition of time-reversal with a π-rotation are characterized by a non-Abelian topological invariant. The topological charges of the Weyl points are transformed via braid phase factors which arise upon exchange inside symmetric planes of the reciprocal momentum space. We elucidate this process with an elementary two-dimensional tight-binding model implementable in cold-atoms setups and in photonic systems. In three dimensions, interplay of the non-Abelian topology with point-group symmetry is shown to enable topological phase transitions in which pairs of Weyl points may scatter or convert into nodal-line rings. By combining our theoretical arguments with first-principles calculations, we predict that Weyl points occurring near the Fermi level of zirconium telluride (ZrTe) carry non-trivial values of the non-Abelian charge, and that uniaxial compression strain drives a non-trivial conversion of the Weyl points into nodal lines.
No Explore or Discover sections associated with this archive record.
|80.5 MiB||Input files for VASP, Wannier90 and WannierTools software packages used to perform the first-principles calculations described in the paper|