Nonlocal electrodynamics in Weyl semimetals

B. Rosenstein, H. C. Kao, M. Lewkowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recently synthesized three-dimensional materials with Dirac spectrum exhibit peculiar electric transport qualitatively different from its two-dimensional analog, graphene. By neglecting impurity scattering, the real part of the conductivity is strongly frequency dependent, while the imaginary part is nonzero unlike in undoped, clean graphene. The Coulomb interaction between electrons is unscreened as in a dielectric and hence is long range. We demonstrate that the interaction correction renders the electrodynamics nonlocal on a mesoscopic scale. The longitudinal conductivity σL and the transverse conductivity σT are different in the long-wavelength limit and consequently the standard local Ohm's law description does not apply. This leads to several remarkable effects in optical response. The p-polarized light generates in these materials bulk plasmons as well as the transversal waves. At a specific frequency the two modes coincide, a phenomenon impossible in a local medium. For any frequency there is a Brewster angle where total absorption occurs, turning the Weyl semimetals opaque. The effect of the surface, including the Fermi arcs, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085148
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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