Heavy-fermion quantum criticality and destruction of the Kondo effect in a nickel oxypnictide

Yongkang Luo, Leonid Pourovskii, S. E. Rowley, Yuke Li, Chunmu Feng, Antoine Georges, Jianhui Dai, Guanghan Cao, Zhu'an Xu, Qimiao Si, N. P. Ong

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39 Scopus citations


A quantum critical point arises at a continuous transformation between distinct phases of matter at zero temperature. Studies in antiferromagnetic heavy-fermion materials have revealed that quantum criticality has several classes, with an unconventional type that involves a critical destruction of the Kondo entanglement. To understand such varieties, it is important to extend the materials basis beyond the usual setting of intermetallic compounds. Here we show that a nickel oxypnictide, CeNiAsO, exhibits a heavy-fermion antiferromagnetic quantum critical point as a function of either pressure or P/As substitution. At the quantum critical point, non-Fermi-liquid behaviour appears, which is accompanied by a divergent effective carrier mass. Across the quantum critical point, the low-temperature Hall coefficient undergoes a rapid sign change, suggesting a sudden jump of the Fermi surface and a destruction of the Kondo effect. Our results imply that the enormous materials basis for the oxypnictides, which has been so crucial in the search for high-temperature superconductivity, will also play a vital role in the effort to establish the universality classes of quantum criticality in strongly correlated electron systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-781
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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