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  1. Abstract

    The identification of a non-trivial band topology usually relies on directly probing the protected surface/edge states. But, it is difficult to achieve electronically in narrow-gap topological materials due to the small (meV) energy scales. Here, we demonstrate that band inversion, a crucial ingredient of the non-trivial band topology, can serve as an alternative, experimentally accessible indicator. We show that an inverted band can lead to a four-fold splitting of the non-zero Landau levels, contrasting the two-fold splitting (spin splitting only) in the normal band. We confirm our predictions in magneto-transport experiments on a narrow-gap strong topological insulator, zirconium pentatelluride (ZrTe5), with the observation of additional splittings in the quantum oscillations and also an anomalous peak in the extreme quantum limit. Our work establishes an effective strategy for identifying the band inversion as well as the associated topological phases for future topological materials research.