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  1. Wigner predicted that when the Coulomb interactions between electrons become much stronger than their kinetic energy, electrons crystallize into a closely packed lattice1. A variety of two-dimensional systems have shown evidence for Wigner crystals2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 (WCs). However, a spontaneously formed classical or quantum WC has never been directly visualized. Neither the identification of the WC symmetry nor direct investigation of its melting has been accomplished. Here we use high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy measurements to directly image a magnetic-field-induced electron WC in Bernal-stacked bilayer graphene and examine its structural properties as a function of electron density, magnetic field and temperature. At high fields and the lowest temperature, we observe a triangular lattice electron WC in the lowest Landau level. The WC possesses the expected lattice constant and is robust between filling factor ν ≈ 0.13 and ν ≈ 0.38 except near fillings where it competes with fractional quantum Hall states. Increasing the density or temperature results in the melting of the WC into a liquid phase that is isotropic but has a modulated structure characterized by the Bragg wavevector of the WC. At low magnetic fields, the WC unexpectedly transitions into an anisotropic stripe phase, which has been commonly anticipated to form in higher Landau levels. Analysis of individual lattice sites shows signatures that may be related to the quantum zero-point motion of electrons in the WC lattice. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 11, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 13, 2024
  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract

    Flat band moiré superlattices have recently emerged as unique platforms for investigating the interplay between strong electronic correlations, nontrivial band topology, and multiple isospin ‘flavor’ symmetries. Twisted monolayer-bilayer graphene (tMBG) is an especially rich system owing to its low crystal symmetry and the tunability of its bandwidth and topology with an external electric field. Here, we find that orbital magnetism is abundant within the correlated phase diagram of tMBG, giving rise to the anomalous Hall effect in correlated metallic states nearby most odd integer fillings of the flat conduction band, as well as correlated Chern insulator states stabilized in an external magnetic field. The behavior of the states at zero field appears to be inconsistent with simple spin and valley polarization for the specific range of twist angles we investigate, and instead may plausibly result from an intervalley coherent (IVC) state with an order parameter that breaks time reversal symmetry. The application of a magnetic field further tunes the competition between correlated states, in some cases driving first-order topological phase transitions. Our results underscore the rich interplay between closely competing correlated ground states in tMBG, with possible implications for probing exotic IVC ordering.

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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Abstract

    The interplay between band topology and magnetism can give rise to exotic states of matter. For example, magnetically doped topological insulators can realize a Chern insulator that exhibits quantized Hall resistance at zero magnetic field. While prior works have focused on ferromagnetic systems, little is known about band topology and its manipulation in antiferromagnets. Here, we report that MnBi2Te4is a rare platform for realizing a canted-antiferromagnetic (cAFM) Chern insulator with electrical control. We show that the Chern insulator state with Chern numberC = 1 appears as the AFM to canted-AFM phase transition happens. The Chern insulator state is further confirmed by observing the unusual transition of theC = 1 state in the cAFM phase to theC = 2 orbital quantum Hall states in the magnetic field induced ferromagnetic phase. Near the cAFM-AFM phase boundary, we show that the dissipationless chiral edge transport can be toggled on and off by applying an electric field alone. We attribute this switching effect to the electrical field tuning of the exchange gap alignment between the top and bottom surfaces. Our work paves the way for future studies on topological cAFM spintronics and facilitates the development of proof-of-concept Chern insulator devices.

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  8. null (Ed.)
  9. Abstract The coupling between spin, charge, and lattice degrees of freedom plays an important role in a wide range of fundamental phenomena. Monolayer semiconducting transitional metal dichalcogenides have emerged as an outstanding platform for studying these coupling effects. Here, we report the observation of multiple valley phonons – phonons with momentum vectors pointing to the corners of the hexagonal Brillouin zone – and the resulting exciton complexes in the monolayer semiconductor WSe 2 . We find that these valley phonons lead to efficient intervalley scattering of quasi particles in both exciton formation and relaxation. This leads to a series of photoluminescence peaks as valley phonon replicas of dark trions. Using identified valley phonons, we also uncover an intervalley exciton near charge neutrality. Our work not only identifies a number of previously unknown 2D excitonic species, but also shows that monolayer WSe 2 is a prime candidate for studying interactions between spin, pseudospin, and zone-edge phonons. 
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