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Avoided quantum criticality and single particle excitations in weakly disordered Weyl semimetals

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G126

Speaker Name(s): 

Jedediah Pixley

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Maryland
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Condensed Matter Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

We will discuss the effects of short-range random potential disorder on three-dimensional Dirac and Weyl semi-metals. We focus on the proposed quantum critical point (QCP) separating a semi-metal and diffusive metal phase driven by disorder. We explore the non-perturbative effects of rare regions using Lanczos and the kernel polynomial method, from which we establish the existence of two distinct types of excitations in the weak disorder regime. The first are perturbatively renormalized dispersive Dirac states and the second are weakly dispersive quasi-localized “rare” eigenstates [2].  We confirm that these rare eigenstates contribute an exponentially small but non-zero density of states at zero energy, thus converting the semi-metal to diffusive metal transition into an avoided quantum critical point  [1]. Nonetheless, we show a quantum critical scaling regime still exists albeit only at finite temperature or energy. We establish how to find the location of the avoided QCP and tune how strongly it is avoided [3]. Lastly, we determine the nature of single particle excitations in the weak disorder and quantum critical regime.


[1] J. H. Pixley, David A. Huse, S. Das Sarma, PRX 6, 021042 (2016).
[2] Rahul Nandkishore, David A. Huse, S.L. Sondhi , PRB 89, 245110 (2014)
[2] J. H. Pixley, David A. Huse, S. Das Sarma, PRB 94, 121107(R) (2016).

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