Non-Abelian properties of electron wave packets in the Dirac semimetals A3Bi (A=Na, K,Rb)

E. V. Gorbar, V. A. Miransky, Igor Shovkovy, P. O. Sukhachov

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Abstract

The motion of electron wave packets in the Dirac semimetals A3Bi (A= Na,K,Rb) is studied in a semiclassical approximation. Because of the twofold degeneracy of the Dirac points and a momentum-dependent gap term in the low-energy Hamiltonian, the associated Berry curvature is non-Abelian. In the presence of background electromagnetic fields, such a Berry curvature leads to a splitting of trajectories for the wave packets that originate from different Dirac points and chiral sectors. The nature of the splitting strongly depends on the background fields as well as the initial chiral composition of the wave packets. In parallel electric and magnetic fields, while a well-pronounced valley splitting is achieved for any chirality composition, the chirality separation takes place predominantly for the initially polarized states. On the other hand, in perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, there are clear deviations from the conventional Abelian trajectories, albeit without a well-pronounced valley splitting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045203
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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