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Spin-triplet superconductivity in Weyl nodal-line semimetals

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Ajeesh,  Mukkattu O.
Physics of Quantum Materials, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Nicklas,  Michael
Michael Nicklas, Physics of Quantum Materials, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Shang, T., Ghosh, S. K., Smidman, M., Gawryluk, D. J., Baines, C., Wang, A., et al. (2022). Spin-triplet superconductivity in Weyl nodal-line semimetals. npj Quantum Materials, 7(1): 35, pp. 1-9. doi:10.1038/s41535-022-00442-w.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-6E8F-B
Abstract
Topological semimetals are three dimensional materials with symmetry-protected massless bulk excitations. As a special case, Weyl nodal-line semimetals are realized in materials having either no inversion or broken time-reversal symmetry and feature bulk nodal lines. The 111-family, including LaNiSi, LaPtSi and LaPtGe materials (all lacking inversion symmetry), belongs to this class. Here, by combining muon-spin rotation and relaxation with thermodynamic measurements, we find that these materials exhibit a fully-gapped superconducting ground state, while spontaneously breaking time-reversal symmetry at the superconducting transition. Since time-reversal symmetry is essential for protecting the normal-state topology, its breaking upon entering the superconducting state should remarkably result in a topological phase transition. By developing a minimal model for the normal-state band structure and assuming a purely spin-triplet pairing, we show that the superconducting properties across this family can be described accurately. Our results demonstrate that the 111 materials reported here provide an ideal test-bed for investigating the rich interplay between the exotic properties of Weyl nodal-line fermions and unconventional superconductivity.