Tunable interacting composite fermion phases in a half-filled bilayer-graphene Landau level

A. A. Zibrov, C. Kometter, H. Zhou, E. M. Spanton, T. Taniguchi, K. Watanabe, M. P. Zaletel, A. F. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Non-Abelian anyons are a type of quasiparticle with the potential to encode quantum information in topological qubits protected from decoherence. Experimental systems that are predicted to harbour non-Abelian anyons include p-wave superfluids, superconducting systems with strong spin-orbit coupling, and paired states of interacting composite fermions that emerge at even denominators in the fractional quantum Hall (FQH) regime. Although even-denominator FQH states have been observed in several two-dimensional systems, small energy gaps and limited tunability have stymied definitive experimental probes of their non-Abelian nature. Here we report the observation of robust even-denominator FQH phases at half-integer Landau-level filling in van der Waals heterostructures consisting of dual-gated, hexagonal-boron-nitride-encapsulated bilayer graphene. The measured energy gap is three times larger than observed previously. We compare these FQH phases with numerical and theoretical models while simultaneously controlling the carrier density, layer polarization and magnetic field, and find evidence for the paired Pfaffian phase that is predicted to host non-Abelian anyons. Electric-field-controlled level crossings between states with different Landau-level indices reveal a cascade of FQH phase transitions, including a continuous phase transition between the even-denominator FQH state and a compressible composite fermion liquid. Our results establish graphene as a pristine and tunable experimental platform for studying the interplay between topology and quantum criticality, and for detecting non-Abelian qubits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume549
Issue number7672
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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