Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy
Ames Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy
Dissipationless currents from topologically protected states are promising for disorder-tolerant electronics and quantum computation. Here, we photogenerate giant anisotropic terahertz nonlinear currents with vanishing scattering, driven by laser-induced coherent phonons of broken inversion symmetry in a centrosymmetric Dirac material ZrTe5. Our work suggests that this phononic terahertz symmetry switching leads to formation of Weyl points, whose chirality manifests in a transverse, helicity-dependent current, orthogonal to the dynamical inversion symmetry breaking axis, via circular photogalvanic effect. The temperature-dependent topological photocurrent exhibits several distinct features: Berry curvature dominance, particle–hole reversal near conical points and chirality protection that is responsible for an exceptional ballistic transport length of ~10 μm. These results, together with first-principles modelling, indicate two pairs of Weyl points dynamically created by B1u phonons of broken inversion symmetry. Such phononic terahertz control breaks ground for coherent manipulation of Weyl nodes and robust quantum transport without application of static electric or magnetic fields.
DOE Contract Number(s)
AC02-07CH11358; SC0012704; SC0019137
Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
Available for download on Tuesday, January 18, 2022