4 years ago

Emptying Dirac valleys in bismuth using high magnetic fields

Emptying Dirac valleys in bismuth using high magnetic fields
Yuki Fuseya, Ross D. McDonald, Zengwei Zhu, Kamran Behnia, Jinhua Wang, Huakun Zuo, Benoît Fauqué
The Fermi surface of elemental bismuth consists of three small rotationally equivalent electron pockets, offering a valley degree of freedom to charge carriers. A relatively small magnetic field can confine electrons to their lowest Landau level. This is the quantum limit attained in other dilute metals upon application of sufficiently strong magnetic field. Here we report on the observation of another threshold magnetic field never encountered before in any other solid. Above this field, Bempty, one or two valleys become totally empty. Drying up a Fermi sea by magnetic field in the Brillouin zone leads to a manyfold enhancement in electric conductance. We trace the origin of the large drop in magnetoresistance across Bempty to transfer of carriers between valleys with highly anisotropic mobilities. The non-interacting picture of electrons with field-dependent mobility explains most results but the Coulomb interaction may play a role in shaping the fine details.

Publisher URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15297

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15297

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