Selection Rules for Quasiparticle Interference with Internal Nonsymmorphic Symmetries

Raquel Queiroz, Ady Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study how nonsymmorphic symmetries that commute with lattice translations are reflected in the quasiparticle interference (QPI) maps measured by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). QPI maps, which result from scattering of Bloch states off impurities, record the interference of incoming and scattered waves as a function of energy and tip's position. Although both the impurity and the tip generically break spatial symmetries, we find that the QPI maps provide universal information on these symmetries. The symmetries impose constraints on the relation between various momentum components of the Bloch functions. These relations result in selection rules on certain momentum transfers in QPI maps. We find that universal information is encoded in the absence of QPI signal, or in the relative intensity of its replications. We show examples for one-dimensional chains and an effective model of the layered compound ZrSiS. We discuss the implications of our theory in the analysis of observed QPI of the Weyl semimetal TaAs. Our theory is particularly relevant for materials in rod and layer space groups, or when a correlated order parameter, such as antiferromagnetism, enlarges the unit cell.
Original languageEnglish
Article number176401
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2018


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