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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Observation of dimension-crossover of a tunable 1D Dirac fermion in topological semimetal NbSixTe2


Condensed matter systems in low dimensions exhibit emergent physics that does not exist in three dimensions. When electrons are confined to one dimension (1D), some significant electronic states appear, such as charge density wave, spin-charge separations, and Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) topological state. However, a clear understanding of how the 1D electronic properties connects with topology is currently lacking. Here we systematically investigated the characteristic 1D Dirac fermion electronic structure originated from the metallic NbTe2 chains on the surface of the composition-tunable layered compound NbSixTe2 (x = 0.40 and 0.43) using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We found the Dirac fermion forms a Dirac nodal line structure protected by the combined Mỹ and time-reversal symmetry T and proves the NbSixTe2 system as a topological semimetal, in consistent with the ab-initio calculations. As x decreases, the interaction between adjacent NbTe2 chains increases and Dirac fermion goes through a dimension-crossover from 1D to 2D, as evidenced by the variation of its Fermi surface and Fermi velocity across the Brillouin zone in consistence with a Dirac SSH model. Our findings demonstrate a tunable 1D Dirac electron system, which offers a versatile platform for the exploration of intriguing 1D physics and device applications.

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