Letter | Published:

Anomalous Hall effect in ZrTe5


Research in topological matter has expanded to include the Dirac and Weyl semimetals1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, which feature three-dimensional Dirac states protected by symmetry. Zirconium pentatelluride has been of recent interest as a potential Dirac or Weyl semimetal material. Here, we report the results of experiments performed by in situ three-dimensional double-axis rotation to extract the full 4π solid angular dependence of the transport properties. A clear anomalous Hall effect is detected in every sample studied, with no magnetic ordering observed in the system to the experimental sensitivity of torque magnetometry. Large anomalous Hall signals develop when the magnetic field is rotated in the plane of the stacked quasi-two-dimensional layers, with the values vanishing above about 60 K, where the negative longitudinal magnetoresistance also disappears. This suggests a close relation in their origins, which we attribute to the Berry curvature generated by the Weyl nodes.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


  1. 1.

    Murakami, S. & Kuga, S.-i Universal phase diagrams for the quantum spin Hall systems. Phys. Rev. B 78, 165313 (2008).

  2. 2.

    Okugawa, R. & Murakami, S. Dispersion of Fermi arcs in Weyl semimetals and their evolutions to Dirac cones. Phys. Rev. B 89, 235315 (2014).

  3. 3.

    Hosur, P. & Qi, X. Recent developments in transport phenomena in Weyl semimetals. C. R. Phys. 14, 857–870 (2013).

  4. 4.

    Burkov, A. A. & Kim, Y. B. 2. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 136602 (2016).

  5. 5.

    Wan, X., Turner, A. M., Vishwanath, A. & Savrasov, S. Y. Topological semimetal and Fermi-arc surface states in the electronic structure of pyrochlore iridates. Phys. Rev. B 83, 205101 (2011).

  6. 6.

    Yang, K.-Y., Lu, Y.-M. & Ran, Y. Quantum Hall effects in a Weyl semimetal: possible application in pyrochlore iridates. Phys. Rev. B 84, 075129 (2011).

  7. 7.

    Young, S. M. et al. Dirac semimetal in three dimensions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 140405 (2012).

  8. 8.

    Liang, T. et al. Ultrahigh mobility and giant magnetoresistance in the Dirac semimetal Cd3As2. Nat. Mater. 14, 280–284 (2015).

  9. 9.

    Yang, L. X. et al. Weyl semimetal phase in the non-centrosymmetric compound TaAs. Nat. Phys. 11, 728–732 (2015).

  10. 10.

    Lv, B. Q. et al. Experimental discovery of Weyl semimetal TaAs. Phys. Rev. X 5, 031013 (2015).

  11. 11.

    Li, Q. et al. Chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe5. Nat. Phys. 12, 550–554 (2016).

  12. 12.

    Adler, S. L. Axial-vector vertex in spinor electrodynamics. Phys. Rev. 177, 2426–2438 (1969).

  13. 13.

    Bell, J. S. & Jackiw, R. A PCAC puzzle: π0→γγ in the σ-model. Nuovo Cim. A 60, 47–61 (1969).

  14. 14.

    Nielsen, H. & Ninomiya, M. A no-go theorem for regularizing chiral fermions. Phys. Lett. B 105, 219–223 (1981).

  15. 15.

    Xiong, J. et al. Evidence for the chiral anomaly in the Dirac semimetal Na3Bi. Science 350, 413–416 (2015).

  16. 16.

    Hirschberger, M. et al. The chiral anomaly and thermopower of Weyl fermions in the half-Heusler GdPtBi. Nat. Mater. 15, 1161–1165 (2016).

  17. 17.

    Wang, Z. et al. Dirac semimetal and topological phase transitions in A 3Bi (A = Na, K, Rb). Phys. Rev. B 85, 195320 (2012).

  18. 18.

    Wang, Z., Weng, H., Wu, Q., Dai, X. & Fang, Z. Three-dimensional Dirac semimetal and quantum transport in Cd3As2. Phys. Rev. B 88, 125427 (2013).

  19. 19.

    Wu, R. et al. Evidence for topological edge states in a large energy gap near the step edges on the surface of ZrTe5. Phys. Rev. X 6, 021017 (2016).

  20. 20.

    Zhang, Y. et al. Electronic evidence of temperature-induced Lifshitz transition and topological nature in ZrTe5. Nat. Commun. 8, 15512 EP (2017).

  21. 21.

    Manzoni, G. et al. Ultrafast optical control of the electronic properties of ZrTe5. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 207402 (2015).

  22. 22.

    Shen, L. et al. Spectroscopic evidence for the gapless electronic structure in bulk ZrTe5. J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom. 219, 45–52 (2016).

  23. 23.

    Xiong, H. et al. Three-dimensional nature of the band structure of ZrTe5 measured by high-momentum-resolution photoemission spectroscopy. Phys. Rev. B 95, 195119 (2017).

  24. 24.

    Fang, Z. et al. The anomalous Hall effect and magnetic monopoles in momentum space. Science 302, 92–95 (2003).

  25. 25.

    Weng, H., Dai, X. & Fang, Z. Transition-metal pentatelluride ZrTe5 and HfTe5: a paradigm for large-gap quantum spin Hall insulators. Phys. Rev. X 4, 011002 (2014).

  26. 26.

    Littleton, R. T. et al. Effect of Ti substitution on the thermoelectric properties of the pentatelluride materials M1−xTi x Te5 (M = Hf, Zr). Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 2056–2058 (1998).

  27. 27.

    Lowhorn, N. D., Tritt, T. M., Abbott, E. E. & Kolis, J. W. Effect of rare earth doping on the thermoelectric and electrical transport properties of the transition metal pentatelluride HfTe5. In ICT 2005. 24th Int. Conf. on Thermoelectrics, 2005 41–45 (2005).

  28. 28.

    Fuller, W. et al. Pressure effects in HfTe5 and ZrTe5. J. Phys. Colloques 44, 1709–1712 (1983).

  29. 29.

    Burkov, A. A. Giant planar Hall effect in topological metals. Phys. Rev. B 96, 041110 (2017).

  30. 30.

    Nandy, S., Sharma, G., Taraphder, A. & Tewari, S. Chiral anomaly as the origin of the planar Hall effect in Weyl semimetals. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 176804 (2017).

  31. 31.

    Behnia, K., Méasson, M.-A. & Kopelevich, Y. Oscillating Nernst–Ettingshausen effect in bismuth across the quantum limit. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 166602 (2007).

  32. 32.

    Zhu, Z., Fauqué, B., Fuseya, Y. & Behnia, K. Angle-resolved Landau spectrum of electrons and holes in bismuth. Phys. Rev. B 84, 115137 (2011).

  33. 33.

    Zhu, Z. et al. Quantum oscillations, thermoelectric coefficients, and the Fermi surface of semimetallic Wte2. Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 176601 (2015).

  34. 34.

    Li, X. et al. Anomalous Nernst and Righi–Leduc effects in Mn3Sn: Berry curvature and entropy flow. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 056601 (2017).

  35. 35.

    Murakami, S. Phase transition between the quantum spin Hall and insulator phases in 3D: emergence of a topological gapless phase. New J. Phys. 9, 356 (2007).

  36. 36.

    Murakami, S. Gap closing and universal phase diagrams in topological insulators. Physica E 43, 748–754 (2011).

Download references


The research was supported by the US Army Research Office under contract ARO W911NF-16-1-0116. N.P.O. acknowledges the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's EPiQS Initiative through grant GBMF4539. The crystal growth was carried out by Q.G., S.K. and R.J.C., with support from the US National Science Foundation (NSF MRSEC grant DMR 1420541). J.A.S., P.S.K. and Z.-X. S. were supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division under contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. T.L., J.A.S. and H.X. acknowledge support by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's EPiQS Initiative through grant GBMF4546. Use of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract DE-AC02-76SF00515.

Author information

T.L. and N.P.O. conceived the idea behind the experiment. T.L. designed the experiment with double-axis rotator and carried out the transport measurements with some assistance from J.L., M.L. and W.W. The crystals were grown and characterized by Q.G., S.K. and R.J.C. The high-momentum-resolution laser-ARPES measurements were made and studied by H.X., J.A.S., P.S.K. and Z.-X.S. Synchrotron ARPES measurements at beamline 5-4 of SSRL were made by T.L. and M.H. Analyses of the measurements were carried out by T.L. and N.P.O. The manuscript was written by T.L. and N.P.O. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Tian Liang or N. P. Ong.

Supplementary information

Supplemental Information

Four additional figures with captions

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Further reading

Fig. 1: Resistivity, magnetization and ARPES spectrum of ZrTe5.
Fig. 2: Angular dependence of MR and Hall signals in sample Z2.
Fig. 3: Full 4π solid angular dependence of AHE in sample ZQ3.
Fig. 4: Temperature and angular dependence of transport properties in samples ZQ4 and Z5.