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Extremely large magnetoresistance and ultrahigh mobility in the topological Weyl semimetal candidate NbP

DOI: 10.1038/nphys3372 DOI Help

Authors: Chandra Shekhar (Max Planck Institute) , Ajaya K. Nayak (Max Planck Institute) , Yan Sun (Max Planck Institute) , Marcus Schmidt (Max Planck Institute) , Michael Nicklas (Max Planck Institute) , Inge Leermakers (Radboud University) , Uli Zeitler (Radboud University) , Yurii Skourski (Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory) , Jochen Wosnitza (Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory) , Zhongkai Liu (Diamond Light Source) , Yulin Chen (Oxford University) , Walter Schnelle (Max Planck Institute) , Horst Borrmann (Max Planck Institute) , Yuri Grin (Max Planck Institute) , Claudia Felser (Max Planck Institute) , Binghai Yan (Max Planck Institute)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Physics , VOL 11 (8) , PAGES 645 - 649

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 13177

Abstract: Recent experiments have revealed spectacular transport properties in semimetals, such as the large, non-saturating magnetoresistance exhibited by WTe2 (ref. 1). Topological semimetals with massless relativistic electrons have also been predicted2 as three-dimensional analogues of graphene3. These systems are known as Weyl semimetals, and are predicted to have a range of exotic transport properties and surface states4, 5, 6, 7, distinct from those of topological insulators8, 9. Here we examine the magneto-transport properties of NbP, a material the band structure of which has been predicted to combine the hallmarks of a Weyl semimetal10, 11 with those of a normal semimetal. We observe an extremely large magnetoresistance of 850,000% at 1.85 K (250% at room temperature) in a magnetic field of up to 9 T, without any signs of saturation, and an ultrahigh carrier mobility of 5 × 106 cm2 V−1 s−1 that accompanied by strong Shubnikov–de Haas (SdH) oscillations. NbP therefore presents a unique example of a material combining topological and conventional electronic phases, with intriguing physical properties resulting from their interplay.

Subject Areas: Physics

Instruments: I05-ARPES