Quasi-two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides exhibit dramatic properties that may transform electronic and photonic devices. We report on how the anomalously large magnetoresistance (MR) observed under high magnetic field in MoTe2, a type II Weyl semimetal, can be reversibly controlled under tensile strain. The MR is enhanced by as much as ∼30% at low temperatures and high magnetic fields when uniaxial strain is applied along the a crystallographic direction and reduced by about the same amount when strain is applied along the b direction. We show that the large in-plane electric anisotropy is coupled with the structural transition from the 1T' monoclinic to the Td orthorhombic Weyl phase. A shift of the Td-1T' phase boundary is achieved by minimal tensile strain. The sensitivity of the MR to tensile strain suggests the possibility of a nontrivial spin-orbital texture of the electron and hole pockets in the vicinity of Weyl points. Our ab initio calculations show a significant orbital mixing on the Fermi surface, which is modified by the tensile strains.
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