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  1. Abstract A recent focus of quantum spin liquid (QSL) studies is how disorder/randomness in a QSL candidate affects its true magnetic ground state. The ultimate question is whether the QSL survives disorder or the disorder leads to a “spin-liquid-like” state, such as the proposed random-singlet (RS) state. Since disorder is a standard feature of most QSL candidates, this question represents a major challenge for QSL candidates. YbMgGaO 4 , a triangular lattice antiferromagnet with effective spin-1/2 Yb 3+ ions, is an ideal system to address this question, since it shows no long-range magnetic ordering with Mg/Ga site disorder. Despite the intensive study, it remains unresolved as to whether YbMgGaO 4 is a QSL or in the RS state. Here, through ultralow-temperature thermal conductivity and magnetic torque measurements, plus specific heat and DC magnetization data, we observed a residual κ 0 / T term and series of quantum spin state transitions in the zero temperature limit for YbMgGaO 4 . These observations strongly suggest that a QSL state with itinerant excitations and quantum spin fluctuations survives disorder in YbMgGaO 4 .
  2. The transverse voltage generated by a temperature gradient in a perpendicularly applied magnetic field, termed the Nernst effect, has promise for thermoelectric applications and for probing electronic structure. In magnetic materials, an anomalous Nernst effect (ANE) is possible in a zero magnetic field. We report a colossal ANE in the ferromagnetic metal UCo 0.8 Ru 0.2 Al, reaching 23 microvolts per kelvin. Uranium’s 5 f electrons provide strong electronic correlations that lead to narrow bands, a known route to producing a large thermoelectric response. In addition, uranium’s strong spin-orbit coupling produces an intrinsic transverse response in this material due to the Berry curvature associated with the relativistic electronic structure. Theoretical calculations show that in UCo 0.8 Ru 0.2 Al at least 148 Weyl nodes, and two nodal lines, exist within 60 millielectron volt of the Fermi level. This work demonstrates that magnetic actinide materials can host strong Nernst and Hall responses due to their combined correlated and topological nature.
  3. In metals, orbital motions of conduction electrons on the Fermi surface are quantized in magnetic fields, which is manifested by quantum oscillations in electrical resistivity. This Landau quantization is generally absent in insulators. Here, we report a notable exception in an insulator—ytterbium dodecaboride (YbB12). The resistivity of YbB12, which is of a much larger magnitude than the resistivity in metals, exhibits distinct quantum oscillations. These unconventional oscillations arise from the insulating bulk, even though the temperature dependence of the oscillation amplitude follows the conventional Fermi liquid theory of metals with a large effective mass. Quantum oscillations in the magnetic torque are also observed, albeit with a lighter effective mass.