Chemical potential and quantum Hall ferromagnetism in bilayer graphene

Science  04 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6192, pp. 58-61
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251003

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Breaking down graphene degeneracy

Bilayer graphene has two layers of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms stacked on top of each other in a staggered configuration. This spatial arrangement results in degenerate electronic states: distinct states that have the same energy. Interaction between electrons can cause the states to separate in energy, and so can external fields (see the Perspective by LeRoy and Yankowitz). Kou et al., Lee et al., and Maher et al. used three distinct experimental setups that clarify different parameter regimes of bilayer graphene.

Science, this issue p. 55, p. 58, p. 61; see also p. 31


Bilayer graphene has a distinctive electronic structure influenced by a complex interplay between various degrees of freedom. We probed its chemical potential using double bilayer graphene heterostructures, separated by a hexagonal boron nitride dielectric. The chemical potential has a nonlinear carrier density dependence and bears signatures of electron-electron interactions. The data allowed a direct measurement of the electric field–induced bandgap at zero magnetic field, the orbital Landau level (LL) energies, and the broken-symmetry quantum Hall state gaps at high magnetic fields. We observe spin-to-valley polarized transitions for all half-filled LLs, as well as emerging phases at filling factors ν = 0 and ν = ±2. Furthermore, the data reveal interaction-driven negative compressibility and electron-hole asymmetry in N = 0, 1 LLs.

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