Thursday, July 11, 2013

1307.2698 (Carmine Ortix et al.)

Absence of helical surface states in bulk semimetals with broken
inversion symmetry

Carmine Ortix, Jörn W. F. Venderbos, Roland Hayn, Jeroen van den Brink
Whereas the concept of topological band-structures was developed originally for insulators with a bulk bandgap, it has become increasingly clear that the prime consequences of a non-trivial topology -- spin-momentum locking of surface states -- can also be encountered in gapless systems. Concentrating on the paradigmatic example of mercury chalcogenides HgX (X = Te, Se, S), we show that the existence of helical semimetals, i.e. semimetals with topological surface states, critically depends on the presence of crystal inversion symmetry. An infinitesimally small broken inversion symmetry (BIS) renders the helical semimetallic state unstable. The BIS is also very important in the fully gapped regime, renormalizing the surface Dirac cones in an anisotropic manner. As a consequence the handedness of the Dirac cones can be flipped by a biaxial stress field.
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