Spin-valley locking in the normal state of a transition-metal dichalcogenide superconductor
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNature Communications. 2016, 7 . 10.1038/ncomms11711
Metallic transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are benchmark systems for studying and controlling intertwined electronic orders in solids, with superconductivity developing from a charge-density wave state. The interplay between such phases is thought to play a critical role in the unconventional superconductivity of cuprates, Fe-based and heavy-fermion systems, yet even for the more moderately-correlated TMDCs, their nature and origins have proved controversial. Here, we study a prototypical example, 2H-NbSe2, by spin- and angle-resolved photoemission and first-principles theory. We find that the normal state, from which its hallmark collective phases emerge, is characterized by quasiparticles whose spin is locked to their valley pseudospin. This results from a combination of strong spin–orbit interactions and local inversion symmetry breaking, while interlayer coupling further drives a rich three-dimensional momentum dependence of the underlying Fermi-surface spin texture. These findings necessitate a re-investigation of the nature of charge order and superconducting pairing in NbSe2 and related TMDCs.