By using a combination of heteroepitaxial growth, structure refinement based on synchrotron x-ray diffraction, and first-principles calculations, we show that the symmetry-protected Dirac line nodes in the topological semimetallic perovskite SrIrO3 can be lifted simply by applying epitaxial constraints. In particular, the Dirac gap opens without breaking the Pbnm mirror symmetry. In virtue of a symmetry-breaking analysis, we demonstrate that the original symmetry protection is related to the n-glide operation, which can be selectively broken by different heteroepitaxial structures. This symmetry protection renders the nodal line a nonsymmorphic Dirac semimetallic state. The results highlight the vital role of crystal symmetry in spin-orbit-coupled correlated oxides and provide a foundation for experimental realization of topological insulators in iridate-based heterostructures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics