Twisted bilayer graphene. IV. Exact insulator ground states and phase diagram

Biao Lian, Zhi Da Song, Nicolas Regnault, Dmitri K. Efetov, Ali Yazdani, B. Andrei Bernevig

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123 Scopus citations


We derive the exact insulator ground states of the projected Hamiltonian of magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene (TBG) flat bands with Coulomb interactions in various limits, and study the perturbations away from these limits. We define the (first) chiral limit where the AA stacking hopping is zero, and a flat limit with exactly flat bands. In the chiral-flat limit, the TBG Hamiltonian has a U(4)×U(4) symmetry, and we find that the exact ground states at integer filling -4≤ν≤4 relative to charge neutrality are Chern insulators of Chern numbers νC=4-|ν|,2-|ν|, »,|ν|-4, all of which are degenerate. This confirms recent experiments where Chern insulators are found to be competitive low-energy states of TBG. When the chiral-flat limit is reduced to the nonchiral-flat limit which has a U(4) symmetry, we find ν=0,±2 has exact ground states of Chern number 0, while ν=±1,±3 has perturbative ground states of Chern number νC=±1, which are U(4) ferromagnetic. In the chiral-nonflat limit with a different U(4) symmetry, different Chern number states are degenerate up to second-order perturbations. In the realistic nonchiral-nonflat case, we find that the perturbative insulator states with Chern number νC=0 (0<|νC|<4-|ν|) at integer fillings ν are fully (partially) intervalley coherent, while the insulator states with Chern number |νC|=4-|ν| are valley polarized. However, for 0<|νC|≤4-|ν|, the fully intervalley coherent states are highly competitive (0.005 meV/electron higher). At nonzero magnetic field |B|>0, a first-order phase transition for ν=±1,±2 from Chern number νC=sgn(νB)(2-|ν|) to νC=sgn(νB)(4-|ν|) is expected, which agrees with recent experimental observations. Lastly, the TBG Hamiltonian reduces into an extended Hubbard model in the stabilizer code limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205414
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 11 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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