Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Magic Angle Graphene: A New Platform for Strongly Correlated Physics

Topic: 
Magic Angle Graphene: A New Platform for Strongly Correlated Physics
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 201
Speaker: 
Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (MIT)
Abstract / Description: 

The understanding of strongly-correlated quantum matter has challenged physicists for decades. Such difficulties have stimulated new research paradigms, such as ultra-cold atom lattices for simulating quantum materials. In this talk I will present a new platform to investigate strongly correlated physics, based on graphene moiré superlattices. In particular, I will show that when two graphene sheets are twisted by an angle close to the theoretically predicted 'magic angle', the resulting flat band structure near the Dirac point gives rise to a strongly-correlated electronic system. These flat bands exhibit half-filling insulating phases at zero magnetic field, which we show to be a Mott-like insulator arising from electrons localized in the moiré superlattice. These unique properties of magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene open up a new playground for exotic many-body quantum phases in a 2D platform made of pure carbon and without magnetic field. The easy accessibility of the flat bands, the electrical tunability, and the bandwidth tunability though twist angle may pave the way towards more exotic correlated systems, such as quantum spin liquids. I will end my talk with an unconventional experimental surprise.