Anyons are exotic quasiparticles with fractional charge that can emerge as fundamental excitations of strongly interacting topological quantum phases of matter. Unlike ordinary fermions and bosons, they may obey non-Abelian statistics - a property that would help realize fault-tolerant quantum computation. Non-Abelian anyons have long been predicted to occur in the fractional quantum Hall (FQH) phases that form in two-dimensional electron gases in the presence of a large magnetic field, such as the ν=5/2 FQH state. However, direct experimental evidence of anyons and tests that can distinguish between Abelian and non-Abelian quantum ground states with such excitations have remained elusive. Here, we propose a new experimental approach to directly visualize the structure of interacting electronic states of FQH states with the STM. Our theoretical calculations show how spectroscopy mapping with the STM near individual impurity defects can be used to image fractional statistics in FQH states, identifying unique signatures in such measurements that can distinguish different proposed ground states. The presence of locally trapped anyons should leave distinct signatures in STM spectroscopic maps, and enables a new approach to directly detect - and perhaps ultimately manipulate - these exotic quasiparticles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy