Non-Abelian reciprocal braiding of Weyl points and its manifestation in ZrTe

Adrien Bouhon1,2*, QuanSheng Wu3,4*, Robert-Jan Slager5,6*, Hongming Weng7,8, Oleg V. Yazyev3,4, Tomáš Bzdušek9,10,11

1 Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Stockholm, Sweden

2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, SE-751 21 Uppsala, Sweden

3 Institute of Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

4 National Centre for Computational Design and Discovery of Novel Materials (MARVEL), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

5 TCM Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom

6 Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

7 Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

8 Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory, Guangdong 523808, China

9 Condensed Matter Theory Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

10 Department of Physics, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland

11 Department of Physics, McCullough Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

* Corresponding authors emails: , ,
DOI10.24435/materialscloud:vb-mk [version v1]

Publication date: Jun 09, 2020

How to cite this record

Adrien Bouhon, QuanSheng Wu, Robert-Jan Slager, Hongming Weng, Oleg V. Yazyev, Tomáš Bzdušek, Non-Abelian reciprocal braiding of Weyl points and its manifestation in ZrTe, Materials Cloud Archive 2020.54 (2020), doi: 10.24435/materialscloud:vb-mk.


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.

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Non-Abelian braiding Weyl semimetal ZrTe TaAs MARVEL/DD6 SNSF EPFL

Version history:

2020.54 (version v1) [This version] Jun 09, 2020 DOI10.24435/materialscloud:vb-mk