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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Three-dimensional Pentagon Carbon with a genesis of emergent fermions.


Carbon, the basic building block of our universe, enjoys a vast number of allotropic structures. Owing to its bonding characteristic, most carbon allotropes possess the motif of hexagonal rings. Here, with first-principles calculations, we discover a new metastable three-dimensional carbon allotrope entirely composed of pentagon rings. The unique structure of this Pentagon Carbon leads to extraordinary electronic properties, making it a cornucopia of emergent topological fermions. Under lattice strain, Pentagon Carbon exhibits topological phase transitions, generating a series of novel quasiparticles, from isospin-1 triplet fermions to triply degenerate fermions and further to Hopf-link Weyl-loop fermions. Its Landau level spectrum also exhibits distinct features, including a huge number of almost degenerate chiral Landau bands, implying pronounced magneto-transport signals. Our work not only discovers a remarkable carbon allotrope with highly rare structural motifs, it also reveals a fascinating hierarchical particle genesis with novel topological fermions beyond the Dirac and Weyl paradigm.

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