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Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Aug 4;119(5):057603. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.057603. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Skyrme Insulators: Insulators at the Brink of Superconductivity.

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Center for Materials Theory, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, D-01187 Dresden, Germany.
Department of Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, United Kingdom.
Division of Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA.


Current theories of superfluidity are based on the idea of a coherent quantum state with topologically protected quantized circulation. When this topological protection is absent, as in the case of ^{3}He-A, the coherent quantum state no longer supports persistent superflow. Here, we argue that the loss of topological protection in a superconductor gives rise to an insulating ground state. We specifically introduce the concept of a Skyrme insulator to describe the coherent dielectric state that results from the topological failure of superflow carried by a complex-vector order parameter. We apply this idea to the case of SmB_{6}, arguing that the observation of a diamagnetic Fermi surface within an insulating bulk can be understood as a realization of this state. Our theory enables us to understand the linear specific heat of SmB_{6} in terms of a neutral Majorana Fermi sea and leads us to predict that in low fields of order a Gauss, SmB_{6} will develop a Meissner effect.

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