Theoretical Prediction of a Strongly Correlated Dirac Metal

Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 1;5:4261. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5261.


Recently, the most intensely studied objects in the electronic theory of solids have been strongly correlated systems and graphene. However, the fact that the Dirac bands in graphene are made up of sp(2) electrons, which are subject to neither strong Hubbard repulsion U nor strong Hund's rule coupling J, creates certain limitations in terms of novel, interaction-induced physics that could be derived from Dirac points. Here we propose GaCu3(OH)6Cl2 (Ga-substituted herbertsmithite) as a correlated Dirac-Kagome metal combining Dirac electrons, strong interactions and frustrated magnetic interactions. Using density functional theory, we calculate its crystallographic and electronic properties, and observe that it has symmetry-protected Dirac points at the Fermi level. Its many-body physics is diverse, with possible charge, magnetic and superconducting instabilities. Through a combination of various many-body methods we study possible symmetry-lowering phase transitions such as Mott-Hubbard, charge or magnetic ordering, and unconventional superconductivity, which in this compound assumes an f-wave symmetry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't