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Field-induced QCD3-Chern-Simons quantum criticalities in Kitaev materials

Kitaev materials are promising to realize exotic quantum spin liquid phases, such as a non-Abelian chiral spin liquid. Motivated by recent experiments in these materials, we theoretically study the novel field-induced quantum phase transitions from the non-Abelian chiral spin liquid to the symmetry-broken zigzag phase and to the trivial polarized state. Utilizing the recently developed dualities of gauge theories, we find these transitions can be described by critical bosons or gapless fermions coupled to emergent non-Abelian gauge fields, and the critical theories are of the type of a QCD3-Chern-Simons theory. We propose that all these exotic quantum phase transitions can potentially be direct and continuous in Kitaev materials, and we present sound evidence for this proposal. Therefore, besides being systems with intriguing quantum magnetism, Kitaev materials may also serve as table-top experimental platforms to study the interesting dynamics of emergent strongly interacting quarks and gluons in 2+1 dimensions.