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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Oct 26;109(17):176404. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

β-YbAlB4: a critical nodal metal.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


We propose a model for the intrinsic quantum criticality of β-YbAlB(4), in which a vortex in momentum space gives rise to a new type of Fermi surface singularity. The unquenched angular momentum of the |J=7/2,m(J)=±5/2> Yb 4f states generates a momentum-space line defect in the hybridization between 4f and conduction electrons, leading to a quasi-two-dimensional Fermi surface with a k(⊥)(4) dispersion and a singular density of states proportional to E(-1/2). We discuss the implications of this line node in momentum space for our current understanding of quantum criticality and its interplay with topology.

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