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Quantum oscillations of electrical resistivity in an insulator

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Science  30 Aug 2018:
eaap9607
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9607

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Abstract

In metals, orbital motions of conduction electrons on the Fermi surface are quantized in magnetic fields, which is manifested by quantum oscillations in electrical resistivity. This Landau quantization is generally absent in insulators. Here we report a notable exception in an insulator — ytterbium dodecaboride (YbB12). The resistivity of YbB12, which is of a much larger magnitude than the resistivity in metals, exhibits distinct quantum oscillations. These unconventional oscillations arise from the insulating bulk, even though the temperature dependence of the oscillation amplitude follows the conventional Fermi liquid theory of metals with a large effective mass. Quantum oscillations in the magnetic torque are also observed, albeit with a lighter effective mass.

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