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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Magnetotransport and electronic structure of the antiferromagnetic semimetal YbAs


A number of rare-earth monopnictides have topologically nontrivial band structures together with magnetism and strong electronic correlations. In order to examine whether the antiferromagnetic (AFM) semimetal YbAs (TN=0.5 K) exhibits such a scenario, we have grown high-quality single crystals using a flux method, and characterized the magnetic properties and electronic structure using specific heat, magnetotransport, and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) measurements, together with density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Both ARPES and DFT calculations find no evidence for band inversions in YbAs, indicating a topologically trivial electronic structure. From low-temperature magnetotransport measurements, we map the field-temperature phase diagram, where we find the presence of a field stabilized phase distinct from the AFM phase at low temperatures. An extremely large magnetoresistance (XMR) for both YbAs and the nonmagnetic counterpart LuAs is also observed, which can consistently be accounted for by the presence of electron-hole compensation. Moreover, an angle-dependent study of the Shubnikov-de Haas effect oscillations reveals very similar Fermi surfaces between YbAs and LuAs, with light effective masses down to at least 0.5 K, indicating that the Yb-4f electrons are well localized, and do not contribute to the Fermi surface. However, the influence of the localized Yb-4f electrons on the magnetotransport of YbAs can be discerned from the distinct temperature dependence of the XMR compared to that of LuAs, which we attribute to the influence of short-ranged spin correlations that appear well above TN.

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