Optical response from charge-density waves in Weyl semimetals

Robert C. McKay, Barry Bradlyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of charge-density wave (CDW) distortions in Weyl semimetals has recently returned to the forefront, inspired by experimental interest in materials such as . However, the interplay between collective phonon excitations and charge transport in Weyl-CDW systems has not been systematically studied. In this paper, we examine the longitudinal electromagnetic response due to collective modes in a Weyl semimetal gapped by a quasi-one-dimensional CDW order, using both continuum and lattice-regularized models. We systematically compute the contributions of the collective modes to the linear and nonlinear optical conductivity of our models, both with and without tilting of the Weyl cones. We discover that, unlike in a single-band CDW, the gapless CDW collective mode does not contribute to the conductivity unless the Weyl cones are tilted. Going further, we show that the lowest nontrivial collective mode contribution to charge transport with untilted Weyl cones comes in the third-order conductivity for a single collective mode. This third-order process is mediated by the gapped amplitude mode. We show that this leads to a sharply peaked third-harmonic response at frequencies below the single-particle energy gap. We discuss the implications of our findings for transport experiments in Weyl-CDW systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155120
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical response from charge-density waves in Weyl semimetals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this