"Detection of Berry’s Phase in a Bulk Rashba Semiconductor"

H. Murakawa: M. S. Bahramy, M. Tokunaga, Y. Kohama, C. Bell, Y. Kaneko, N. Nagaosa, H. Y. Hwang, Y. Tokura; Science, 12/20/13.

Additional Authors: M. S. Bahramy, M. Tokunaga, Y. Kohama, C. Bell, Y. Kaneko, N. Nagaosa, H. Y. Hwang, Y. Tokura

Abstract:

The motion of electrons in a solid has a profound effect on its topological properties and may result in a nonzero Berry’s phase, a geometric quantum phase encoded in the system’s electronic wave function. Despite its ubiquity, there are few experimental observations of Berry’s phase of bulk states. Here, we report detection of a nontrivial π Berry’s phase in the bulk Rashba semiconductor BiTeI via analysis of the Shubnikov–de Haas (SdH) effect. The extremely large Rashba splitting in this material enables the separation of SdH oscillations, stemming from the spin-split inner and outer Fermi surfaces. For both Fermi surfaces, we observe a systematic π-phase shift in SdH oscillations, consistent with the theoretically predicted nontrivial π Berry’s phase in Rashba systems.