Instability of scalarized compact objects in Einstein-scalar-Gauss-Bonnet theories

We investigate the linear stability of scalarized black holes (BHs) and neutron stars (NSs) in the Einstein-scalar-Gauss-Bonnet (GB) theories against the odd- and even-parity perturbations including the higher multipole modes. We show that the angular propagation speeds in the even-parity perturbations in the $\ell \to \infty$ limit, with $\ell$ being the angular multipole moments, become imaginary and hence scalarized BH solutions suffer from the gradient instability. We show that such an instability appears irrespective of the structure of the higher-order terms in the GB coupling function and is caused purely due to the existence of the leading quadratic term and the boundary condition that the value of the scalar field vanishes at the spatial infinity.~This indicates that the gradient instability appears at the point in the mass-charge diagram where the scalarized branches bifurcate from the Schwarzschild branch. We also show that scalarized BH solutions realized in a nonlinear scalarization model also suffer from the gradient instability in the even-parity perturbations. Our result also suggests the gradient instability of the exterior solutions of the static and spherically-symmetric scalarized NS solutions induced by the same GB coupling functions.