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Pressure-induced quantum phase transitions in a Yb B6 single crystal

  • Author(s): Zhou, Y
  • Kim, DJ
  • Rosa, PFS
  • Wu, Q
  • Guo, J
  • Zhang, S
  • Wang, Z
  • Kang, D
  • Yi, W
  • Li, Y
  • Li, X
  • Liu, J
  • Duan, P
  • Zi, M
  • Wei, X
  • Jiang, Z
  • Huang, Y
  • Yang, YF
  • Fisk, Z
  • Sun, L
  • Zhao, Z
  • et al.
Abstract

©2015 American Physical Society. We report the observation of two pressure-induced quantum phase transitions in a YbB6 single crystal, i.e., from a topologically trivial semiconductor to an intermediate semimetal and then from the semimetal to a possible topologically nontrivial high-pressure gapped phase through in situ high-pressure transport and synchrotron x-ray diffraction measurements. Our high-pressure absorption results reveal that the mixed-valence state in pressurized YbB6 above 15 GPa plays an important role in the formation of the high-pressure state with a reopened gap. These high-pressure results may be helpful for shedding light on the intriguing relation between the topology and the 4f electrons in the rare-earth hexaborides.

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