Semimetals are characterized by nodal band structures that give rise to exotic electronic properties. The stability of Dirac semimetals, such as graphene in two spatial dimensions, requires the presence of lattice symmetries, while akin to the surface states of topological band insulators, Weyl semimetals in three spatial dimensions are protected by band topology. Here we show that in the bulk of topological band insulators, self-organized topologically protected semimetals can emerge along a grain boundary, a ubiquitous extended lattice defect in any crystalline material. In addition to experimentally accessible electronic transport measurements, these states exhibit a valley anomaly in two dimensions influencing edge spin transport, whereas in three dimensions they appear as graphenelike states that may exhibit an odd-integer quantum Hall effect. The general mechanism underlying these semimetals—the hybridization of spinon modes bound to the grain boundary—suggests that topological semimetals can emerge in any topological material where lattice dislocations bind localized topological modes.
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