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Creators/Authors contains: "Lai, Hsin-Hua"

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  1. Nontrivial topology in condensed-matter systems enriches quantum states of matter to go beyond either the classification into metals and insulators in terms of conventional band theory or that of symmetry-broken phases by Landau’s order parameter framework. So far, focus has been on weakly interacting systems, and little is known about the limit of strong electron correlations. Heavy fermion systems are a highly versatile platform to explore this regime. Here we report the discovery of a giant spontaneous Hall effect in the Kondo semimetal C e 3 B i 4 P d 3 that is noncentrosymmetric but preserves time-reversal symmetry. We attribute this finding to Weyl nodes—singularities of the Berry curvature—that emerge in the immediate vicinity of the Fermi level due to the Kondo interaction. We stress that this phenomenon is distinct from the previously detected anomalous Hall effect in materials with broken time-reversal symmetry; instead, it manifests an extreme topological response that requires a beyond-perturbation-theory description of the previously proposed nonlinear Hall effect. The large magnitude of the effect in even tiny electric and zero magnetic fields as well as its robust bulk nature may aid the exploitation in topological quantum devices.
  2. Complex and correlated quantum systems with promise for new functionality often involve entwined electronic degrees of freedom. In such materials, highly unusual properties emerge and could be the result of electron localization. Here, a cubic heavy fermion metal governed by spins and orbitals is chosen as a model system for this physics. Its properties are found to originate from surprisingly simple low-energy behavior, with 2 distinct localization transitions driven by a single degree of freedom at a time. This result is unexpected, but we are able to understand it by advancing the notion of sequential destruction of an SU(4) spin–orbital-coupled Kondo entanglement. Our results implicate electron localization as a unified framework for strongly correlated materials and suggest ways to exploit multiple degrees of freedom for quantum engineering.