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Title: Skyrme insulators: insulators at the brink of superconductivity

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 3He-A, the coherent quantum state no longer supports persistent superflow. In this paper, we argue that the loss of topological protection in a superconductor gives rise to an insulating ground state. Specifically, we 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. Here, we apply this idea to the case of SmB6, 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 SmB6 in terms of a neutral Majorana Fermi sea and leads us to predict that in low fields of order a Gauss, SmB6 will develop a Meissner effect.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States). Center for Materials Theory; Max Planck Society, Dresden (Germany). Max Planck Inst. for the Physics of Complex Systems
  2. Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States). Center for Materials Theory
  3. Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States). Center for Materials Theory; Univ. of Lond, Surrey (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Division of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
BNL-114020-2017-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; R&D Project: PO015; KC0202030; TRN: US1702772
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704; FG02-99ER45790; PHY-1066293; AC02-98CH10886; ac02-98CH10886
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY
OSTI Identifier:
1372443
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1374069