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Two-dimensional Dirac semimetal based on the alkaline earth metal CaP3

by Seounghun Kang, Sinchul Yeom, Wei Luo, Yaling Zheng, Mina Yoon
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Physical Review Materials
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Using an evolutionary algorithm in combination with first-principles density-functional theory calculations, we identify a two-dimensional (2D) CaP3 monolayer as a new Dirac semimetal due to inversion and nonsymmorphic spatial symmetries of the structure. This new topological material, composed of light elements, exhibits high structural stability (higher than the phase known in the literature), which is confirmed by thermodynamic and kinetic stability analysis. Moreover, it satisfies the electron filling criteria, so that its Dirac state is located near the Fermi level. The existence of the Dirac state predicted by the theoretical symmetry analysis is also confirmed by first-principles electronic band structure calculations. We find that the energy position of the Dirac state can be tuned by strain, while the Dirac state is unstable against an external electric field since it breaks the spatial inversion symmetry. Our findings should be instrumental in the development of 2D Dirac fermions based on light elements for their application in nanoelectronic devices and topological electronics.