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Quantized circular photogalvanic effect in Weyl semimetals

  • Author(s): De Juan, F
  • Grushin, AG
  • Morimoto, T
  • Moore, JE
  • et al.

Published Web Location

http://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15995
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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2017. The circular photogalvanic effect (CPGE) is the part of a photocurrent that switches depending on the sense of circular polarization of the incident light. It has been consistently observed in systems without inversion symmetry and depends on non-universal material details. Here we find that in a class of Weyl semimetals (for example, SrSi2) and three-dimensional Rashba materials (for example, doped Te) without inversion and mirror symmetries, the injection contribution to the CPGE trace is effectively quantized in terms of the fundamental constants e, h, c and ∈0with no material-dependent parameters. This is so because the CPGE directly measures the topological charge of Weyl points, and non-quantized corrections from disorder and additional bands can be small over a significant range of incident frequencies. Moreover, the magnitude of the CPGE induced by a Weyl node is relatively large, which enables the direct detection of the monopole charge with current techniques.

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