Weyl semimetals are gapless quasitopological materials with a set of isolated nodal points forming their Fermi surface. They manifest their quasitopological character in a series of topological electromagnetic responses including the anomalous Hall effect. Here, we study the effect of disorder on Weyl semimetals while monitoring both their nodal/semimetallic and topological properties through computations of the localization length and the Hall conductivity. We examine three different lattice tight-binding models which realize the Weyl semimetal in part of their phase diagram and look for universal features that are common to all of the models, and interesting distinguishing features of each model. We present detailed phase diagrams of these models for large system sizes and we find that weak disorder preserves the nodal points up to the diffusive limit, but does affect the Hall conductivity. We show that the trend of the Hall conductivity is consistent with an effective picture in which disorder causes the Weyl nodes move within the Brillouin zone along a specific direction that depends deterministically on the properties of the model and the neighboring phases to the Weyl semimetal phase. We also uncover an unusual (nonquantized) anomalous Hall insulator phase which can only exist in the presence of disorder.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics