Helicons are transverse electromagnetic waves propagating in three-dimensional (3D) electron systems subject to a static magnetic field. We present a theory of helicons propagating through a 3D Weyl semimetal. Our approach relies on the evaluation of the optical conductivity tensor from semiclassical Boltzmann transport theory, with the inclusion of certain Berry curvature corrections that have been neglected in the earlier literature (such as the one due to the orbital magnetic moment). We demonstrate that the axion term characterizing the electromagnetic response of Weyl semimetals dramatically alters the helicon dispersion with respect to that in nontopological metals. We also discuss axion-related anomalies that appear in the plasmon dispersion relation.
American Physical Society
10 Nov 2015
Volume: 92 Issue: 20 Pages: 201407
Physical Review B