A paper titled “Type II Weyl Semimetals” has been published in the journal Nature by an international team of university scientists. The finding suggests that the researchers can now predict the availability of a type-II Weyl fermion particle in metallic materials.
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Under exposure to the right magnetic field, any metal composed of the new material is always able to conduct heat and current in one direction and act as insulators in the other direction. It is estimated that such material could be great for developing efficient transistors and even low-energy devices.
According to the scientists, the tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) has the material. The latest particle is very similar to the Weyl fermion that has been used among other particles in standard quantum field theory. The only issue is that type-II particle behaves differently when exposed to electromagnetic fields – because it conducts current in one direction and acts as insular in the other direction.
The research was led by Princeton University Associate Professor of Physics B. Andrei Bernevig, as well as Matthias Troyer and Alexey Soluyanov of ETH Zurich, and Xi Dai of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics. The team included Postdoctoral Research Associates Zhijun Wang at Princeton and QuanSheng Wu at ETH Zurich, and graduate student Dominik Gresch at ETH Zurich.
With the ability to subsist at zero energy, the type-II Weyl fermion possesses a thermodynamic amount of states in what scientists call the Fermi surface – an exotic touching point existing between electron and hole pockets, giving a finite density states to the newly formed fermion with a scale.
"Even more intriguing is the perspective of finding more 'elementary' particles in other condensed matter systems," the scientists wondered. "What kind of other particles can be hidden in the infinite variety of material universes? The large variety of emergent fermions in these materials has only begun to be unraveled."
Researchers at Princeton University were supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the W.M. Keck Foundation. Researchers at ETH Zurich were supported by Microsoft Research, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Research Council. Xi Dai was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the 973 program of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.