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Yong Baek Kim Condensed matter theorist

Yong Baek 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. He has also made important contributions to physics of quantum spin liquids where there exist the so-called spinons, “particles” carrying only the spin of the electrons, and an emergent “photon”. His research works are extended 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.


Elected Fellow, American Physical Society, 2012.

CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, USA, 2000-2004.

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

Canada Research Chair, 2002-2011.

Director, Centre for Quantum Materials, University of Toronto, 2012-.

Relevant Publications

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

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

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

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

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



Senior Fellow Quantum Materials


University of TorontoDepartment of Physics


PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MS Pohand University of Science and Technology, Korea

BS Seoul National University



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