Cascade of electronic transitions in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene

Dillon Wong, Kevin P. Nuckolls, Myungchul Oh, Biao Lian, Yonglong Xie, Sangjun Jeon, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, B. Andrei Bernevig, Ali Yazdani

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene exhibits a variety of electronic states, including correlated insulators1–3, superconductors2–4 and topological phases3,5,6. Understanding the microscopic mechanisms responsible for these phases requires determination of the interplay between electron–electron interactions and quantum degeneracy (the latter is due to spin and valley degrees of freedom). Signatures of strong electron–electron correlations have been observed at partial fillings of the flat electronic bands in recent spectroscopic measurements7–10, and transport experiments have shown changes in the Landau level degeneracy at fillings corresponding to an integer number of electrons per moiré unit cell2–4. However, the interplay between interaction effects and the degeneracy of the system is currently unclear. Here we report a cascade of transitions in the spectroscopic properties of magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene as a function of electron filling, determined using high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy. We find distinct changes in the chemical potential and a rearrangement of the low-energy excitations at each integer filling of the moiré flat bands. These spectroscopic features are a direct consequence of Coulomb interactions, which split the degenerate flat bands into Hubbard sub-bands. We find these interactions, the strength of which we can extract experimentally, to be surprisingly sensitive to the presence of a perpendicular magnetic field, which strongly modifies the spectroscopic transitions. The cascade of transitions that we report here characterizes the correlated high-temperature parent phase11,12 from which various insulating and superconducting ground-state phases emerge at low temperatures in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume582
Issue number7811
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Wong, D., Nuckolls, K. P., Oh, M., Lian, B., Xie, Y., Jeon, S., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Bernevig, B. A., & Yazdani, A. (2020). Cascade of electronic transitions in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene. Nature, 582(7811), 198-202. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2339-0