One of key challenges in current material research is to search for new topological materials with inverted bulk-band structure. In topological insulators, the band inversion caused by strong spin-orbit coupling leads to opening of a band gap in the entire Brillouin zone, whereas an additional crystal symmetry such as point-group and nonsymmorphic symmetries sometimes prohibits the gap opening at/on specific points or line in momentum space, giving rise to topological semimetals. Despite many theoretical predictions of topological insulators/semimetals associated with such crystal symmetries, the experimental realization is still relatively scarce. Here, using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy with bulk-sensitive soft-x-ray photons, we experimentally demonstrate that hexagonal pnictide CaAgAs belongs to a new family of topological insulators characterized by the inverted band structure and the mirror reflection symmetry of crystal. We have established the bulk valence-band structure in three-dimensional Brillouin zone, and observed the Dirac-like energy band and ring-torus Fermi surface associated with the line node, where bulk valence and conducting bands cross on a line in the momentum space under negligible spin-orbit coupling. Intriguingly, we found that no other bands cross the Fermi level and therefore the low-energy excitations are solely characterized by the Dirac-like band. CaAgAs provides an excellent platform to study the interplay among low-energy electron dynamics, crystal symmetry, and exotic topological properties.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics