The fractional quantum Hall state (FQHS) observed at a half-filled Landau level in an interacting two-dimensional electron system (2DES) is among the most exotic states of matter as its quasiparticles are expected to be Majorana excitations with non-Abelian statistics. We demonstrate here the unexpected presence of such a state in a novel 2DES with a strong band-mass anisotropy. The FQHS we observe has unusual characteristics. While its Hall resistance is well quantized at low temperatures, it exhibits highly anisotropic in-plane transport resembling compressible stripe or nematic charge-density-wave phases. More striking, the anisotropy sets in suddenly below a critical temperature, suggesting a finite-temperature phase transition. Our observations highlight how anisotropy modifies the many-body phases of a 2DES, and should further fuel the discussion surrounding the enigmatic even-denominator FQHS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)