Spin-valley locking in the normal state of a transition-metal dichalcogenide superconductor

L. Bawden, S. P. Cooil, F. Mazzola, J. M. Riley, L. J. Collins-McIntyre, V. Sunko, K. W. B. Hunvik, M. Leandersson, C. M. Polley, T. Balasubramanian, T. K. Kim, M. Hoesch, J. W. Wells, G. Balakrishnan, M. S. Bahramy, P. D. C. King

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2016


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