ICMT Seminar: "Observation of fractional Chern insulators in a van der Waals heterostructure"
(sign-up)Mike Zaletel, Princeton
Institute for Condensed Matter Physics
Fractional quantum Hall - like physics could potentially arise not just in the flat Landau levels of a GaAs, but much more generally in any band characterized by a non-zero Chern number. Compared with conventional Landau levels, these “fractional Chern insulators" introduce several novel features: the Coulomb interactions now compete with a finite bandwidth, while bands with higher Chern number might support entirely new sequences of fractional phases. Recently, graphene heterostructures have emerged as a platform for engineering such Chern bands, by using a neighboring boron-nitride sheet to induce a Moire potential nearly commensurate with the magnetic flux density. I will report on new experiments from UCSB's Young Lab which for the first time observe robust phases at a fractional filling of these Chern bands, including those with a Chern number not equal to one. These results suggest graphene will prove a fruitful testbed for the physics of fractional Chern insulators.
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