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  1. Abstract

    A key feature of the topological surface state under a magnetic field is the presence of the zeroth Landau level at the zero energy. Nonetheless, it is challenging to probe the zeroth Landau level due to large electron–hole puddles smearing its energy landscape. Here, by developing ultra‐low‐carrier density topological insulator Sb2Te3films, an extreme quantum limit of the topological surface state is reached and a hidden phase at the zeroth Landau level is uncovered. First, an unexpected quantum‐Hall‐to‐insulator‐transition near the zeroth Landau level is discovered. Then, through a detailed scaling analysis, it is found that this quantum‐Hall‐to‐insulator‐transition belongs to a new universality class, implying that the insulating phase discovered here has a fundamentally different origin from those in nontopological systems.

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