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Journal Article

Magnetic torque anomaly in the quantum limit of Weyl semimetals

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Moll, P. J. W., Potter, A. C., Nair, N. L., Ramshaw, B. J., Modic, K. A., Riggs, S., et al. (2016). Magnetic torque anomaly in the quantum limit of Weyl semimetals. Nature Communications, 7: 12492. doi:10.1038/ncomms12492.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-794F-6
Electrons in materials with linear dispersion behave as massless Weyl- or Dirac-quasiparticles, and continue to intrigue due to their close resemblance to elusive ultra-relativistic particles as well as their potential for future electronics. Yet the experimental signatures of Weyl-fermions are often subtle and indirect, in particular if they coexist with conventional, massive quasiparticles. Here we show a pronounced anomaly in the magnetic torque of the Weyl semimetal NbAs upon entering the quantum limit state in high magnetic fields. The torque changes sign in the quantum limit, signalling a reversal of the magnetic anisotropy that can be directly attributed to the topological nature of the Weyl electrons. Our results establish that anomalous quantum limit torque measurements provide a direct experimental method to identify and distinguish Weyl and Dirac systems.