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Nodal points of Weyl semimetals survive the presence of moderate disorder

Buchhold, Michael and Diehl, Sebastian and Altland, Alexander (2018) Nodal points of Weyl semimetals survive the presence of moderate disorder. Physical Review B, 98 (20). Art. No. 205134. ISSN 2469-9950. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.98.205134.

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In this work we address the physics of individual three-dimensional Weyl nodes subject to a moderate concentration of disorder. Previous analysis indicates the presence of a quantum phase transition below which disorder becomes irrelevant and the integrity of sharp nodal points of vanishing spectral density is preserved in this system. This statement appears to be at variance with the inevitable presence of statistically rare fluctuations which cannot be considered as weak and must have strong influence on the system's spectrum, no matter how small the average concentration. We here reconcile the two pictures by demonstrating that rare fluctuation potentials in the Weyl system generate a peculiar type of resonances which carry spectral density in any neighborhood of zero energy, but never at zero. In this way, the vanishing of the DoS for weak disorder survives the inclusion of rare events. We demonstrate this feature by considering three different models of disorder, each emphasizing specific aspects of the problem: a simplistic box potential model, a model with Gaussian distributed disorder, and one with a finite number of s-wave scatterers. Our analysis also explains why the protection of the nodal DoS may be difficult to see in simulations of finite size lattices.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Buchhold, Michael0000-0001-5194-9388
Additional Information:© 2018 American Physical Society. Received 13 September 2018; published 19 November 2018. We want to thank P. W. Brouwer, V. Gurarie, R. Nandkishore, L. Radzihovski, G. Refael, B. Sbierski, G. Volovik, J. H. Wilson, K. Ziegler, and M. Zirnbauer for fruitful discussions. This work has been supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through CRC/TR 183 – Entangled states of matter (project A02) and the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne within the German Excellence Initiative (ZUK 81). M.B. thanks the Alexander von Humboldt foundation for support.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)CRC/TR 183
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)ZUK 81
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:20
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181112-072756668
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90822
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Nov 2018 19:18
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:35

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