Yong Baek Kim



  • Fellow
  • Quantum Materials


  • University of Toronto
Department of Physics and Centre for Quantum Materials


  • Canada


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MS, Pohand University of Science and Technology
BS, Seoul National University


Yong Baek Kim, a condensed matter theorist, is director of the Centre for Quantum Materials at U of T. Kim’s area of research is the theoretical study of quantum materials with strong electron interactions.

His recent research activities focus on novel quantum phenomena in interacting electron systems with strong spin-orbit coupling. These include the emergence of topological phases where intriguing surface/boundary properties are characterized by topology of the bulk electronic states.

Kim has also made important contributions to the physics of quantum spin liquids, where one can find so-called spinons, ‘particles’ carrying only the spin of the electrons, and an emergent ‘photon.’ His research extends to a variety of subjects and materials, including frustrated magnets, quantum magnetism, iridium oxides and other transition metal oxides with heavy elements, superconductors and quantum phase transitions.



Fellow, American Physical Society, 2012

CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, U.S., 2000–04

Sloan Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1999–2001

Canada Research Chair, 2002–11

Relevant Publications

Schaffer, R. et al. "Topological spinon semimetals and gapless boundary states in three dimensions." Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 (2015): 116803.

Witczak-Krempa, W. et al. "Correlated quantum phenomena in the strong spin-orbit regime.” Annu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys. 5 (2014).

Moon, E.G. et al. "Non-Fermi liquid and topological states with strong spin-orbit coupling.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013): 206401.

Witczak-Krempa, W., and Y.B. Kim. "Topological and magnetic phases of interacting electrons in the pyrochlore iridates.” Phys. Rev. B 85 (2012): 045124.

Yang, B-J., and Y.B. Kim. “Topological insulators and metal-insulator transition in the pyrochlore iridates.” Phys. Rev. B 82 (2010): 085111.