Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Unconventional free charge in the correlated semimetal Nd2Ir2O7

Wang, K. ; Xu, Bing ; Rischau, C. W. ; Bachar, N. ; Michon, B. ; Teyssier, J. ; Qiu, Y. ; Ohtsuki, T. ; Cheng, Bing ; Armitage, N. P. ; Nakatsuji, S. ; van der Marel, D.

In: Nature Physics, 2020, p. -

Nd2Ir2O7 is a correlated semimetal with the pyrochlore structure, in which competing spin–orbit coupling and electron–electron interactions are believed to induce a time- reversal symmetry-broken Weyl semimetal phase characterized by pairs of topologically protected Dirac points at the Fermi energy1,2,3,4. However, the emergent properties in these materials are far from clear, and exotic... More

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    Summary
    Nd2Ir2O7 is a correlated semimetal with the pyrochlore structure, in which competing spin–orbit coupling and electron–electron interactions are believed to induce a time- reversal symmetry-broken Weyl semimetal phase characterized by pairs of topologically protected Dirac points at the Fermi energy1,2,3,4. However, the emergent properties in these materials are far from clear, and exotic new states of matter have been conjectured5,6,7. Here, we demonstrate optically that, at low temperatures, the free carrier spectral weight is proportional to T2, where T is the temperature, as expected for massless Dirac electrons. However, we do not observe the corresponding T3 term in the specific heat. That the system is not in a Fermi liquid state is further corroborated by the charge carrier scattering rate approaching critical damping and the progressive opening of a correlation-induced gap at low temperatures. These observations cannot be reconciled within the framework of band theory of electron-like quasiparticles and point towards the effective decoupling of the charge transport from the single particle sector.