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Concept: Quantum Hall effect


It is believed that not all quantum systems can be simulated efficiently using classical computational resources. This notion is supported by the fact that it is not known how to express the partition function in a sign-free manner in quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) simulations for a large number of important problems. The answer to the question-whether there is a fundamental obstruction to such a sign-free representation in generic quantum systems-remains unclear. Focusing on systems with bosonic degrees of freedom, we show that quantized gravitational responses appear as obstructions to local sign-free QMC. In condensed matter physics settings, these responses, such as thermal Hall conductance, are associated with fractional quantum Hall effects. We show that similar arguments also hold in the case of spontaneously broken time-reversal (TR) symmetry such as in the chiral phase of a perturbed quantum Kagome antiferromagnet. The connection between quantized gravitational responses and the sign problem is also manifested in certain vertex models, where TR symmetry is preserved.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Physics, Matter, Condensed matter physics, Quantum field theory, Chemistry, Quantum Hall effect


Quasi-particle excitations in graphene exhibit a unique behavior concerning two key phenomena of mesoscopic physics: electron localization and the quantum Hall effect. A direct transition between these two states has been found in disordered two-dimensional electron gases at low magnetic field. It has been suggested that it is a quantum phase transition, but the nature of the transition is still debated. Despite the large number of works studying either the localization or the quantum Hall regime in graphene, such a transition has not been investigated for Dirac fermions. Here we discuss measurements on low-mobility graphene where the localized state at low magnetic fields and a quantum Hall state at higher fields are observed. We find that the system undergoes a direct transition from the insulating to the Hall conductor regime. Remarkably, the transverse magneto-conductance shows a temperature independent crossing point, pointing to the existence of a genuine quantum phase transition.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Condensed matter physics, Electric current, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect


Insulating states can be topologically nontrivial, a well-established notion that is exemplified by the quantum Hall effect and topological insulators. By contrast, topological metals have not been experimentally evidenced until recently. In systems with strong correlations, they have yet to be identified. Heavy-fermion semimetals are a prototype of strongly correlated systems and, given their strong spin-orbit coupling, present a natural setting to make progress. Here, we advance a Weyl-Kondo semimetal phase in a periodic Anderson model on a noncentrosymmetric lattice. The quasiparticles near the Weyl nodes develop out of the Kondo effect, as do the surface states that feature Fermi arcs. We determine the key signatures of this phase, which are realized in the heavy-fermion semimetal Ce3Bi4Pd3 Our findings provide the much-needed theoretical foundation for the experimental search of topological metals with strong correlations and open up an avenue for systematic studies of such quantum phases that naturally entangle multiple degrees of freedom.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Hall effect, Electrical resistance, Quantum spin Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect, Elementary charge


Investigating the structure of quantized plateaus in the Hall conductance of graphene is a powerful way of probing its crystalline and electronic structure and will also help to establish whether graphene can be used as a robust standard of resistance for quantum metrology. We use low-temperature scanning gate microscopy to image the interplateau breakdown of the quantum Hall effect in an exfoliated bilayer graphene flake. Scanning gate images captured during breakdown exhibit intricate patterns where the conductance is strongly affected by the presence of the scanning probe tip. The maximum density and intensity of the tip-induced conductance perturbations occur at half-integer filling factors, midway between consecutive quantum Hall plateau, while the intensity of individual sites shows a strong dependence on tip-voltage. Our results are well-described by a model based on quantum percolation which relates the points of high responsivity to tip-induced scattering in a network of saddle points separating localized states.

Concepts: Condensed matter physics, Graphene, Scanning probe microscopy, Hall effect, Electrical resistance, Quantum Hall effect, Quantum electronics, Quantization


The growth of large-domain single crystalline graphene with the controllable number of layers is of central importance for large-scale integration of graphene devices. Here we report a new pathway to greatly reduce the graphene nucleation density from ~10(6) to 4 nuclei cm(-2), enabling the growth of giant single crystals of monolayer graphene with a lateral size up to 5 mm and Bernal-stacked bilayer graphene with the lateral size up to 300 μm, both the largest reported to date. The formation of the giant graphene single crystals eliminates the grain boundary scattering to ensure excellent device-to-device uniformity and remarkable electronic properties with the expected quantum Hall effect and the highest carrier mobility up to 16,000 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1). The availability of the ultra large graphene single crystals can allow for high-yield fabrication of integrated graphene devices, paving a pathway to scalable electronic and photonic devices based on graphene materials.

Concepts: Condensed matter physics, Chemistry, Carbon, Graphene, Materials science, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect, Crystallite


Graphene, a monolayer sheet of carbon atoms, exhibits intriguing electronic properties that arise from its massless Dirac dispersion of electrons. A striking example is the half-integer quantum Hall effect, which endorses the presence of Dirac cones or, equivalently, a non-zero (π) Berry’s (topological) phase. It is curious how these anomalous features of Dirac electrons would affect optical properties. Here we observe the quantum magneto-optical Faraday and Kerr effects in graphene in the terahertz frequency range. Our results detect the quantum plateaus in the Faraday and Kerr rotations at precisely the quantum Hall steps that hallmark the Dirac electrons, with the rotation angle defined by the fine-structure constant. The robust quantum Hall plateaus in the optical regime, besides being conceptually interesting, may open avenues for new graphene-based optoelectronic applications.

Concepts: Electron, Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Graphene, Frequency, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect


Two-dimensional electron systems in the presence of a magnetic field support topologically ordered states, in which the coexistence of an insulating bulk with conducting one-dimensional chiral edge states gives rise to the quantum Hall effect. For systems confined by sharp boundaries, theory predicts a unique edge-bulk correspondence, which is central to proposals of quantum Hall-based topological qubits. However, in conventional semiconductor-based two-dimensional electron systems, these elegant concepts are difficult to realize, because edge-state reconstruction due to soft boundaries destroys the edge-bulk correspondence. Here we use scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy to follow the spatial evolution of electronic (Landau) levels towards an edge of graphene supported above a graphite substrate. We observe no edge-state reconstruction, in agreement with calculations based on an atomically sharp boundary. Our results single out graphene as a system where the edge structure can be controlled and the edge-bulk correspondence is preserved.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Quantum mechanics, Graphene, Manifold, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect, Landau quantization


We review the electronic properties of bilayer graphene, beginning with a description of the tight-binding model of bilayer graphene and the derivation of the effective Hamiltonian describing massive chiral quasiparticles in two parabolic bands at low energies. We take into account five tight-binding parameters of the Slonczewski-Weiss-McClure model of bulk graphite plus intra- and interlayer asymmetry between atomic sites which induce band gaps in the low-energy spectrum. The Hartree model of screening and band-gap opening due to interlayer asymmetry in the presence of external gates is presented. The tight-binding model is used to describe optical and transport properties including the integer quantum Hall effect, and we also discuss orbital magnetism, phonons and the influence of strain on electronic properties. We conclude with an overview of electronic interaction effects.

Concepts: Photon, Energy, Quantum mechanics, Condensed matter physics, Graphene, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect


We reveal an intriguing manifestation of topology, which appears in the depletion rate of topological states of matter in response to an external drive. This phenomenon is presented by analyzing the response of a generic two-dimensional (2D) Chern insulator subjected to a circular time-periodic perturbation. Because of the system’s chiral nature, the depletion rate is shown to depend on the orientation of the circular shake; taking the difference between the rates obtained from two opposite orientations of the drive, and integrating over a proper drive-frequency range, provides a direct measure of the topological Chern number (ν) of the populated band: This “differential integrated rate” is directly related to the strength of the driving field through the quantized coefficient η0 = ν/ℏ(2), where h = 2π ℏ is Planck’s constant. Contrary to the integer quantum Hall effect, this quantized response is found to be nonlinear with respect to the strength of the driving field, and it explicitly involves interband transitions. We investigate the possibility of probing this phenomenon in ultracold gases and highlight the crucial role played by edge states in this effect. We extend our results to 3D lattices, establishing a link between depletion rates and the nonlinear photogalvanic effect predicted for Weyl semimetals. The quantized circular dichroism revealed in this work designates depletion rate measurements as a universal probe for topological order in quantum matter.

Concepts: Photon, Quantum mechanics, Condensed matter physics, Vector space, Manifold, Real number, Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect


The fractional quantum Hall effect is a canonical example of electron-electron interactions producing new ground states in many-body systems. Most fractional quantum Hall studies have focussed on the lowest Landau level, whose fractional states are successfully explained by the composite fermion model. In the widely studied GaAs-based system, the composite fermion picture is thought to become unstable for the N≥2 Landau level, where competing many-body phases have been observed. Here we report magneto-resistance measurements of fractional quantum Hall states in the N=2 Landau level (filling factors 4<|ν|<8) in bilayer graphene. In contrast with recent observations of particle-hole asymmetry in the N=0/N=1 Landau levels of bilayer graphene, the fractional quantum Hall states we observe in the N=2 Landau level obey particle-hole symmetry within the fully symmetry-broken Landau level. Possible alternative ground states other than the composite fermions are discussed.

Concepts: Scientific method, Matter, Particle physics, Hall effect, Standard Model, Quantum Hall effect, Fractional quantum Hall effect, Landau quantization