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Exploring the band structure of 3D Dirac semimetals by magneto-optics

Ana Akrap (University of Fribourg)


A little over ten years ago, relativistic-like particles made a grand entrance into the condensed matter physics arena, when they were observed in topological insulators. Soon thereafter, it became clear that topological states of matter were surprisingly widespread. This talk will focus on one such example of a 3D system whose energy dispersion is linear in momentum: zirconium pentatelluride, ZrTe5.

Magneto-optical spectroscopy allows us to uncover the Landau levels and helps decipher the band structure. Our main task is to understand the low energy behavior of a system with an extremely small carrier density, a tiny effective mass, and a small band gap, whose properties are in some conditions predicted to be topologically nontrivial.