A single nodal loop of accidental degeneracies in minimal symmetry: triclinic CaAs$_3$

13 Mar 2017  ·  Quan Y., Yin Z. P., Pickett W. E. ·

The existence of closed loops of degeneracies in crystals has been intimately connected to associated crystal symmetries, raising the question: what is the minimum symmetry required for topological character, and can one find an example? Triclinic CaAs$_3$, in space group $P{\bar 1}$ with only a center of inversion, has been found to display, without need for tuning, a nodal loop of accidental degeneracies with topological character, centered on one face of the Brillouin zone that is otherwise fully gapped... The small loop is very flat in energy, yet is cut four times by the Fermi energy, a condition that results in an intricate repeated touching of inversion related pairs of Fermi surfaces at Weyl points. Spin-orbit coupling lifts the fourfold degeneracy along the loop, leaving trivial Kramers pairs. With its single nodal loop that emerges without protection from any point group symmetry, CaAs$_3$ represents the primal "hydrogen atom" of nodal loop systems. read more

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Materials Science