Interaction-Driven Surface Chern Insulator in Nodal Line Semimetals

Wei Chen, J. L. Lado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Nodal line semimetals are characterized by nontrivial bulk-band crossings, giving rise to almost flat drumheadlike surface states (DSS), which provide an attractive playground where interaction can induce symmetry-broken states and potential emergent phases. Here, we show that electronic interaction drives a Stoner ferromagnetic instability in the DSS while the bulk remains nonmagnetic, which together with spin-orbit coupling drive the surface states into a 2D Chern insulator. We show that each piece of DSS carries a half-integer topological charge, which for systems containing two pieces of DSS yield a net Chern number C=-1. We show that this phenomenology is robust against chiral-symmetry breaking, which gives a finite dispersion to the DSS. Our results show that nodal line semimetals are a promising platform to implement surface Chern insulators and dissipationless electron transport by exploiting enhanced interaction effects of the DSS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016803
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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