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Kondo screening in a charge-insulating spinon metal [dataset] Open Access

The Kondo effect, an eminent manifestation of many-body physics in condensed matter, is traditionally explained as exchange scattering of conduction electrons on a spinful impurity in a metal. The resulting screening of the impurity's local moment by the electron Fermi sea is characterized by a Kondo temperature TK, below which the system enters a strongly-coupled regime. In recent years, this effect has found its realizations beyond the bulk-metal paradigm in many other conduction-electron systems, such as in quantum dots in semiconductor heterostructures and nanomaterials, in quantum point contacts, in graphene, in topological insulators, and was also predicted for three-dimensional Dirac and Weyl semimetals. Here we report on an experimental observation of the Kondo screening by charge-neutral quasiparticles. This occurs in a charge-insulating quantum spin liquid, where spinon excitations forming a Fermi surface take the role of conduction electrons. The observed impurity behaviour therefore bears a strong resemblance to the conventional case in a metal. The discovered spinon-based Kondo effect provides a prominent platform for characterising spin liquids, in the general context of utilizing impurities as in situ probes of host electron states, and offers a unique way to manipulate these enigmatic states.


Resource type
Creator: Gomilšek, Matjaž 1
Data curator: Gomilšek, Matjaž 1
Creator: Žitko, Rok 2
Creator: Klanjšek, Martin 3
Creator: Pregelj, Martin 3
Creator: Baines, Christopher 4
Creator: Li, Yuesheng 5
Creator: Zhang, Qingming 6
Creator: Zorko, Andrej 3
Contact person: Zorko, Andrej 3
1 Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova c. 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia & Durham University, South Rd, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom
2 Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova c. 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia & Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska c. 19, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3 Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova c. 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4 Laboratory for Muon Spin Spectroscopy, Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
5 Experimental Physics VI, Center for Electronic Correlations and Magnetism, University of Augsburg, 86159 Augsburg, Germany
6 National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China & School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Javna Agencija za Raziskovalno Dejavnost RS (Slovenian Research Agency)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Swiss National Science Foundation)
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology)
National Science Foundation of China
Research methods
Other description
Kondo effect
spin liquid
non-Fermi liquid
gauge field
geometric frustration
muon-spin relaxation
nuclear magnetic resonance
numerical renormalization group
Condensed matter
Cited in
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC)

Durham University
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M. Gomilsek
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13 May 2019, 10:05:08
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