Weyl semimetal in a topological insulator multilayer

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Sep 16;107(12):127205. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.127205. Epub 2011 Sep 16.


We propose a simple realization of the three-dimensional (3D) Weyl semimetal phase, utilizing a multilayer structure, composed of identical thin films of a magnetically doped 3D topological insulator, separated by ordinary-insulator spacer layers. We show that the phase diagram of this system contains a Weyl semimetal phase of the simplest possible kind, with only two Dirac nodes of opposite chirality, separated in momentum space, in its band structure. This Weyl semimetal has a finite anomalous Hall conductivity and chiral edge states and occurs as an intermediate phase between an ordinary insulator and a 3D quantum anomalous Hall insulator. We find that the Weyl semimetal has a nonzero dc conductivity at zero temperature, but Drude weight vanishing as T(2), and is thus an unusual metallic phase, characterized by a finite anomalous Hall conductivity and topologically protected edge states.