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Magnetic torque anomaly in the quantum limit of Weyl semimetals

  • Author(s): Moll, PJW
  • Potter, AC
  • Nair, NL
  • Ramshaw, BJ
  • Modic, KA
  • Riggs, S
  • Zeng, B
  • Ghimire, NJ
  • Bauer, ED
  • Kealhofer, R
  • Ronning, F
  • Analytis, JG
  • et al.

Published Web Location

http://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12492
No data is associated with this publication.
Abstract

Electrons in materials with linear dispersion behave as massless Weyl- or Dirac-quasiparticles, and continue to intrigue due to their close resemblance to elusive ultra-relativistic particles as well as their potential for future electronics. Yet the experimental signatures of Weyl-fermions are often subtle and indirect, in particular if they coexist with conventional, massive quasiparticles. Here we show a pronounced anomaly in the magnetic torque of the Weyl semimetal NbAs upon entering the quantum limit state in high magnetic fields. The torque changes sign in the quantum limit, signalling a reversal of the magnetic anisotropy that can be directly attributed to the topological nature of the Weyl electrons. Our results establish that anomalous quantum limit torque measurements provide a direct experimental method to identify and distinguish Weyl and Dirac systems.

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