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  1. Abstract Kondo lattice materials, where localized magnetic moments couple to itinerant electrons, provide a very rich backdrop for strong electron correlations. They are known to realize many exotic phenomena, with a dramatic example being recent observations of quantum oscillations and metallic thermal conduction in insulators, implying the emergence of enigmatic charge-neutral fermions. Here, we show that thermal conductivity and specific heat measurements in insulating YbIr 3 Si 7 reveal emergent neutral excitations, whose properties are sensitively changed by a field-driven transition between two antiferromagnetic phases. In the low-field phase, a significant violation of the Wiedemann-Franz law demonstrates that YbIr 3 Si 7 is a charge insulator but a thermal metal. In the high-field phase, thermal conductivity exhibits a sharp drop below 300 mK, indicating a transition from a thermal metal into an insulator/semimetal driven by the magnetic transition. These results suggest that spin degrees of freedom directly couple to the neutral fermions, whose emergent Fermi surface undergoes a field-driven instability at low temperatures.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 16, 2023
  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.