Fermion space charge in narrow band-gap semiconductors, Weyl semimetals, and around highly charged nuclei

Eugene B. Kolomeisky, Joseph P. Straley, Hussain Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The field of charged impurities in narrow band-gap semiconductors and Weyl semimetals can create electron-hole pairs when the total charge Ze of the impurity exceeds a value Zce. The particles of one charge escape to infinity, leaving a screening space charge. The result is that the observable dimensionless impurity charge Q is less than Z but greater than Zc. There is a corresponding effect for nuclei with Z>Z c≈170, however, in the condensed matter setting we find Z ca 10. Thomas-Fermi theory indicates that Q=0 for the Weyl semimetal, but we argue that this is a defect of the theory. For the case of a highly-charged recombination center in a narrow band-gap semiconductor (or of a supercharged nucleus), the observable charge takes on a nearly universal value. In Weyl semimetals, the observable charge takes on the universal value Q=Zc set by the reciprocal of material's fine structure constant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165428
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume88
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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