Magnon Bose–Einstein condensation and superconductivity in a frustrated Kondo lattice

Pavel A. Volkov, Snir Gazit, Jedediah H. Pixley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motivated by recent experiments on magnetically frustrated heavy fermion metals, we theoretically study the phase diagram of the Kondo lattice model with a nonmagnetic valence bond solid ground state on a ladder. A similar physical setting may be naturally occurring in YbAl3C3, CeAgBi2, and TmB4 compounds. In the insulating limit, the application of a magnetic field drives a quantum phase transition to an easy-plane antiferromagnet, which is described by a Bose–Einstein condensation of magnons. Using a combination of field theoretical techniques and density matrix renormalization group calculations we demonstrate that in one dimension this transition is stable in the presence of a metallic Fermi sea, and its universality class in the local magnetic response is unaffected by the itinerant gapless fermions. Moreover, we find that fluctuations about the valence bond solid ground state can mediate an attractive interaction that drives unconventional superconducting correlations. We discuss the extensions of our findings to higher dimensions and argue that depending on the filling of conduction electrons, the magnon Bose–Einstein condensation transition can remain stable in a metal also in dimensions two and three.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20462-20467
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 25 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Frustrated magnetism
  • Kondo lattice
  • Strongly correlated electrons

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