Topological insulators, in contrast to ordinary semiconductors, accompany protected metallic surfaces described by Dirac-type fermions. Here, we theoretically show that another emergent two-dimensional metal embedded in the bulk insulator is realized at a magnetic domain wall. The domain wall has long been studied as an ingredient of both old-fashioned and leading-edge spintronics. The domain wall here, as an interface of seemingly trivial antiferromagnetic insulators, emergently realizes a functional interface preserved by zero modes with robust two-dimensional Fermi surfaces, where pyrochlore iridium oxides proposed to host the condensed-matter realization of Weyl fermions offer such examples at low temperatures. The existence of in-gap states that are pinned at domain walls, theoretically resembling spin or charge solitons in polyacetylene, and protected as the edges of hidden one-dimensional weak Chern insulators characterized by a zero-dimensional class-A topological invariant, solves experimental puzzles observed in R2Ir2O7 with rare-earth elements R. The domain wall realizes a novel quantum confinement of electrons and embosses a net uniform magnetization that enables magnetic control of electronic interface transports beyond the semiconductor paradigm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)