Fractional quantum Hall states (FQHSs) at even-denominator Landau level filling factors (ν) are of prime interest as they are predicted to host exotic, topological states of matter. We report here the observation of a FQHS at ν=1/2 in a two-dimensional electron system of exceptionally high quality, confined to a wide AlAs quantum well, where the electrons can occupy multiple conduction-band valleys with an anisotropic effective mass. The anisotropy and multivalley degree of freedom offer an unprecedented tunability of the ν=1/2 FQHS as we can control both the valley occupancy via the application of in-plane strain, and the ratio between the strengths of the short- and long-range Coulomb interaction by tilting the sample in the magnetic field to change the electron charge distribution. Thanks to this tunability, we observe phase transitions from a compressible Fermi liquid to an incompressible FQHS and then to an insulating phase as a function of tilt angle. We find that this evolution and the energy gap of the ν=1/2 FQHS depend strongly on valley occupancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)