Weyl semimetals host topologically protected surface states, with arced Fermi surface contours that are predicted to propagate through the bulk when their momentum matches that of the surface projections of the bulk’s Weyl nodes. We use spectroscopic mapping with a scanning tunneling microscope to visualize quasi-particle scattering and interference at the surface of the Weyl semimetal TaAs. Our measurements reveal 10 different scattering wave vectors, which can be understood and precisely reproduced with a theory that takes into account the shape, spin texture, and momentum-dependent propagation of the Fermi arc surface states into the bulk. Our findings provide evidence that Weyl nodes act as sinks for electron transport on the surface of these materials.
"Quasiparticle interference of the Fermi arcs and surface-bulk connectivity of Weyl semimetals," H. Inoue, A. Gyenis, Z. Wang, J. Li, S. W. Oh, S. Jiang, N. Ni, B. A. Bernevig, A. Yazdani, Science 351, 1184 (2016). (Article)
- Princeton University press release