An exotic quantum state called a Dirac semimetal was realized in a novel magnetic material Sr1-yMn1-zSb2. This material features an unusual combination of two distinct electronic behaviors. One behavior is the persistence of a state similar to a bar magnet with spins that are parallel to each other. The other relates to electrons with an effective mass near zero that travel close to the speed of light.
The Dirac semimetal belongs to a class of materials called topological semimetals. These materials offer great promise. They could be the basis for ultra-powerful computers. Essentially, the semimetal could create a new paradigm for highly efficient and robust computational platforms. Semimetals could let such computers and other quantum devices work in warmer settings, climbing further from absolute zero.
A 3-D analog of graphene (a 2-D material) is a Dirac semimetal. Dirac semimetals have exceedingly high charge carrier mobility, creating little to no resistance to current flow, and large magnetoresistance that could be used for high-density, low-power data storage. A team led by Tulane University, Louisiana Consortium for Neutron Scattering at Louisiana State University, and others discovered a new magnetic semimetal Sr1-yMn1-zSb2 (y, z
John F. DiTusa
Louisiana State University
This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (neutron scattering), including use of the High Flux Isotope Reactor, a DOE Office of Science user facility; DOE National Nuclear Security Administration; National Science Foundation (Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Florida State University, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory); and Louisiana Board of Regents (equipment).
J.Y. Liu, J. Hu, Q. Zhang, D. Graf, H.B. Cao, S.M.A. Radmanesh, D.J. Adams, Y.L. Zhu, G.F. Cheng, X. Liu, W.A. Phelan, J. Wei, M. Jaime, F. Balakirev, D.A. Tennant, J.F. DiTusa, I. Chiorescu, L. Spinu, and Z.Q. Mao, "A magnetic topological semimetal Sr1?yMn1?zSb2 (y, z " Nature Materials 16, 905 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nmat4953]
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