Abstract: A number of moir\'e graphene systems have nearly flat topological bands where electron motion is strongly correlated. Though microscopically these systems are only quasiperiodic, they can typically be treated as translation invariant to an excellent approximation. Here we reconsider this question for magic angle twisted bilayer graphene that is nearly aligned with a hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) substrate. We carefully study the effect of the periodic potential induced by hBN on the low energy physics. The combination of this potential and the moir\'e lattice produced by the twisted graphene generates a quasiperiodic term that depends on the alignment angle between hBN and the moir\'e graphene. We find that the alignment angle has a significant impact on both the band gap near charge neutrality and the behavior of electrical transport. We also introduce and study toy models to illustrate how a quasiperiodic potential can give rise to localization and change in transport properties of topological bands.

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Topics: Bilayer graphene (59%), Quasiperiodic function (56%), Quasiperiodicity (56%) ... show more

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6 results found

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Abstract: The quantum anomalous Hall effect sometimes occurs in twisted bilayer graphene when it is nearly aligned with an encapsulating hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) layer. The authors argue that the quantum anomalous Hall effect is likely only when the graphene/graphene and graphene/hBN moir\'e patterns are nearly commensurate. This picture gives rise to the series of ``Hall windows'' in the twist-angle space illustrated here.

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Topics: Quantum anomalous Hall effect (68%), Bilayer graphene (67%), Graphene (60%)

16 Citations

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Niels R. Walet^{1}, Francisco Guinea^{2}, Francisco Guinea^{3}, Francisco Guinea^{4}•Institutions (4)

Abstract: We study the effect of twisting on bilayer $h\text{\ensuremath{-}}\mathrm{BN}$. The effect of lattice relaxation is included; we look at the electronic structure, piezoelectric charges, and spontaneous polarization. We show that the electronic structure without lattice relaxation shows a set of extremely flat in-gap states similar to Landau levels, where the spacing scales with twist angle. With lattice relaxation we still have flat bands, but now the spectrum becomes independent of twist angle for sufficiently small angles. We describe in detail the nature of the bands and we study appropriate continuum models, at the same time explaining the structure of the in-gap states. We find that even though the spectra for both parallel and antiparallel alignment are very similar, the spontaneous polarization effects only occur for parallel alignment. We argue that this suggests a large interlayer hopping between boron and nitrogen.

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Topics: Landau quantization (51%), Electronic structure (50%)

6 Citations

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Abstract: The effects of downfolding a Brillouin zone can open gaps and quench the kinetic energy by flattening bands. Quasiperiodic systems are extreme examples of this process, which leads to new phases and critical eigenstates. We analytically and numerically investigate these effects in a two-dimensional topological insulator with a quasiperiodic potential and discover a complex phase diagram. We study the nature of the resulting eigenstate quantum phase transitions; a quasiperiodic potential can make a trivial insulator topological and induce topological insulator-to-metal phase transitions through a unique universality class distinct from random systems. This wealth of critical behavior occurs concomitantly with the quenching of the kinetic energy, resulting in flat topological bands that could serve as a platform to realize the fractional quantum Hall effect without a magnetic field.

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Topics: Topological insulator (63%), Quantum phase transition (57%), Quasiperiodic function (57%) ... show more

6 Citations

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Vo Tien Phong^{1}, Pierre A. Pantaleón^{2}, Tommaso Cea^{2}, Francisco Guinea^{3} +1 more•Institutions (3)

Abstract: We study the symmetries of twisted trilayer graphene's band structure under various extrinsic perturbations, and analyze the role of long-range electron-electron interactions near the first magic angle. The electronic structure is modified by these interactions in a similar way to twisted bilayer graphene. We analyze electron pairing due to long-wavelength charge fluctuations, which are coupled among themselves via the Coulomb interaction and additionally mediated by longitudinal acoustic phonons. We find superconducting phases with either spin-singlet/valley-triplet or spin-triplet/valley-singlet symmetry, with critical temperatures up to a few Kelvin for realistic choices of parameters.

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Topics: Bilayer graphene (60%), Graphene (54%), Electronic band structure (50%) ... show more

3 Citations

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Abstract: We study magic angle graphene in the presence of both strain and particle-hole symmetry breaking due to non-local inter-layer tunneling. We perform a self-consistent Hartree-Fock study that incorporates these effects alongside realistic interaction and substrate potentials, and explore a comprehensive set of competing orders including those that break translational symmetry at arbitrary wavevectors. We find that at all non-zero integer fillings very small strains, comparable to those measured in scanning tunneling experiments, stabilize a fundamentally new type of time-reversal symmetric and spatially non-uniform order. This order, which we dub the 'incommensurate Kekule spiral' (IKS) order, spontaneously breaks both the emergent valley-charge conservation and moire translation symmetries, but preserves a modified translation symmetry $\hat{T}'$ -- which simultaneously shifts the spatial coordinates and rotates the $U(1)$ angle which characterizes the spontaneous inter-valley coherence. We discuss the phenomenological and microscopic properties of this order. We argue that our findings are consistent with all experimental observations reported so far, suggesting a unified explanation of the global phase diagram in terms of the IKS order.

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Topics: Symmetry breaking (56%), Translational symmetry (54%)

1 Citations

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62 results found

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Abstract: The Hall conductance of a two-dimensional electron gas has been studied in a uniform magnetic field and a periodic substrate potential $U$. The Kubo formula is written in a form that makes apparent the quantization when the Fermi energy lies in a gap. Explicit expressions have been obtained for the Hall conductance for both large and small $\frac{U}{\ensuremath{\hbar}{\ensuremath{\omega}}_{c}}$.

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Topics: Quantum anomalous Hall effect (53%), Kubo formula (52%), Fermi gas (51%)

3,954 Citations

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Abstract: The behaviour of strongly correlated materials, and in particular unconventional superconductors, has been studied extensively for decades, but is still not well understood. This lack of theoretical understanding has motivated the development of experimental techniques for studying such behaviour, such as using ultracold atom lattices to simulate quantum materials. Here we report the realization of intrinsic unconventional superconductivity-which cannot be explained by weak electron-phonon interactions-in a two-dimensional superlattice created by stacking two sheets of graphene that are twisted relative to each other by a small angle. For twist angles of about 1.1°-the first 'magic' angle-the electronic band structure of this 'twisted bilayer graphene' exhibits flat bands near zero Fermi energy, resulting in correlated insulating states at half-filling. Upon electrostatic doping of the material away from these correlated insulating states, we observe tunable zero-resistance states with a critical temperature of up to 1.7 kelvin. The temperature-carrier-density phase diagram of twisted bilayer graphene is similar to that of copper oxides (or cuprates), and includes dome-shaped regions that correspond to superconductivity. Moreover, quantum oscillations in the longitudinal resistance of the material indicate the presence of small Fermi surfaces near the correlated insulating states, in analogy with underdoped cuprates. The relatively high superconducting critical temperature of twisted bilayer graphene, given such a small Fermi surface (which corresponds to a carrier density of about 1011 per square centimetre), puts it among the superconductors with the strongest pairing strength between electrons. Twisted bilayer graphene is a precisely tunable, purely carbon-based, two-dimensional superconductor. It is therefore an ideal material for investigations of strongly correlated phenomena, which could lead to insights into the physics of high-critical-temperature superconductors and quantum spin liquids.

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Topics: Bilayer graphene (64%), Quantum oscillations (59%), Strongly correlated material (59%) ... show more

3,452 Citations

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Abstract: An effective single-band Hamiltonian representing a crystal electron in a uniform magnetic field is constructed from the tight-binding form of a Bloch band by replacing $\ensuremath{\hbar}\stackrel{\ensuremath{\rightarrow}}{\mathrm{k}}$ by the operator $\stackrel{\ensuremath{\rightarrow}}{\mathrm{p}}\ensuremath{-}\frac{e\stackrel{\ensuremath{\rightarrow}}{A}}{c}$. The resultant Schr\"odinger equation becomes a finite-difference equation whose eigenvalues can be computed by a matrix method. The magnetic flux which passes through a lattice cell, divided by a flux quantum, yields a dimensionless parameter whose rationality or irrationality highly influences the nature of the computed spectrum. The graph of the spectrum over a wide range of "rational" fields is plotted. A recursive structure is discovered in the graph, which enables a number of theorems to be proven, bearing particularly on the question of continuity. The recursive structure is not unlike that predicted by Azbel', using a continued fraction for the dimensionless parameter. An iterative algorithm for deriving the clustering pattern of the magnetic subbands is given, which follows from the recursive structure. From this algorithm, the nature of the spectrum at an "irrational" field can be deduced; it is seen to be an uncountable but measure-zero set of points (a Cantor set). Despite these-features, it is shown that the graph is continuous as the magnetic field varies. It is also shown how a spectrum with simplified properties can be derived from the rigorously derived spectrum, by introducing a spread in the field values. This spectrum satisfies all the intuitively desirable properties of a spectrum. The spectrum here presented is shown to agree with that predicted by A. Rauh in a completely different model for crystal electrons in a magnetic field. A new type of magnetic "superlattice" is introduced, constructed so that its unit cell intercepts precisely one quantum of flux. It is shown that this cell represents the periodicity of solutions of the difference equation. It is also shown how this superlattice allows the determination of the wave function at nonlattice sites. Evidence is offered that the wave functions belonging to irrational fields are everywhere defined and are continuous in this model, whereas those belonging to rational fields are only defined on a discrete set of points. A method for investigating these predictions experimentally is sketched.

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Topics: Almost Mathieu operator (52%), Hamiltonian (quantum mechanics) (52%), Wave function (51%) ... show more

2,371 Citations

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Abstract: A van der Waals heterostructure is a type of metamaterial that consists of vertically stacked two-dimensional building blocks held together by the van der Waals forces between the layers. This design means that the properties of van der Waals heterostructures can be engineered precisely, even more so than those of two-dimensional materials. One such property is the 'twist' angle between different layers in the heterostructure. This angle has a crucial role in the electronic properties of van der Waals heterostructures, but does not have a direct analogue in other types of heterostructure, such as semiconductors grown using molecular beam epitaxy. For small twist angles, the moire pattern that is produced by the lattice misorientation between the two-dimensional layers creates long-range modulation of the stacking order. So far, studies of the effects of the twist angle in van der Waals heterostructures have concentrated mostly on heterostructures consisting of monolayer graphene on top of hexagonal boron nitride, which exhibit relatively weak interlayer interaction owing to the large bandgap in hexagonal boron nitride. Here we study a heterostructure consisting of bilayer graphene, in which the two graphene layers are twisted relative to each other by a certain angle. We show experimentally that, as predicted theoretically, when this angle is close to the 'magic' angle the electronic band structure near zero Fermi energy becomes flat, owing to strong interlayer coupling. These flat bands exhibit insulating states at half-filling, which are not expected in the absence of correlations between electrons. We show that these correlated states at half-filling are consistent with Mott-like insulator states, which can arise from electrons being localized in the superlattice that is induced by the moire pattern. These properties of magic-angle-twisted bilayer graphene heterostructures suggest that these materials could be used to study other exotic many-body quantum phases in two dimensions in the absence of a magnetic field. The accessibility of the flat bands through electrical tunability and the bandwidth tunability through the twist angle could pave the way towards more exotic correlated systems, such as unconventional superconductors and quantum spin liquids.

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Topics: Bilayer graphene (60%), van der Waals force (59%), Superlattice (57%) ... show more

2,052 Citations

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Nicola Marzari^{1}, Arash A. Mostofi^{2}, Jonathan R. Yates^{3}, Ivo Souza^{4} +1 more•Institutions (5)

Abstract: The electronic ground state of a periodic system is usually described in terms of extended Bloch orbitals, but an alternative representation in terms of localized "Wannier functions" was introduced by Gregory Wannier in 1937. The connection between the Bloch and Wannier representations is realized by families of transformations in a continuous space of unitary matrices, carrying a large degree of arbitrariness. Since 1997, methods have been developed that allow one to iteratively transform the extended Bloch orbitals of a first-principles calculation into a unique set of maximally localized Wannier functions, accomplishing the solid-state equivalent of constructing localized molecular orbitals, or "Boys orbitals" as previously known from the chemistry literature. These developments are reviewed here, and a survey of the applications of these methods is presented. This latter includes a description of their use in analyzing the nature of chemical bonding, or as a local probe of phenomena related to electric polarization and orbital magnetization. Wannier interpolation schemes are also reviewed, by which quantities computed on a coarse reciprocal-space mesh can be used to interpolate onto much finer meshes at low cost, and applications in which Wannier functions are used as efficient basis functions are discussed. Finally the construction and use of Wannier functions outside the context of electronic-structure theory is presented, for cases that include phonon excitations, photonic crystals, and cold-atom optical lattices.

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Topics: Wannier function (80%), Tight binding (61%), Localized molecular orbitals (56%) ... show more

1,661 Citations