Cloning of Dirac fermions in graphene superlattices

Ponomarenko, Leonid and Gorbachev, R. V. and Yu, G. L. and Elias, D. C. and Jalil, R. and Patel, A. A. and Mishchenko, A. and Mayorov, A. S. and Woods, C. R. and Wallbank, John and Mucha Kruczynski, Marcin and Piot, B. A. and Potemski, M. and Grigorieva, I. V. and Novoselov, K. S. and Guinea, F. and Falko, Vladimir and Geim, A. K. (2013) Cloning of Dirac fermions in graphene superlattices. Nature, 497 (7451). pp. 594-597. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

Superlattices have attracted great interest because their use may make it possible to modify the spectra of two-dimensional electron systems and, ultimately, create materials with tailored electronic properties(1-8). In previous studies (see, for example, refs 1-8), it proved difficult to realize superlattices with short periodicities and weak disorder, and most of their observed features could be explained in terms of cyclotron orbits commensurate with the superlattice(1-4). Evidence for the formation of superlattice mini-bands (forming a fractal spectrum known as Hofstadter's butterfly(9)) has been limited to the observation of new low-field oscillations(5) and an internal structure within Landau levels(6-8). Here we report transport properties of graphene placed on a boron nitride substrate and accurately aligned along its crystallographic directions. The substrate's moire potential(10-12) acts as a superlattice and leads to profound changes in the graphene's electronic spectrum. Second-generation Dirac points(13-22) appear as pronounced peaks in resistivity, accompanied by reversal of the Hall effect. The latter indicates that the effective sign of the charge carriers changes within graphene's conduction and valence bands. Strong magnetic fields lead to Zak-type cloning(23) of the third generation of Dirac points, which are observed as numerous neutrality points in fields where a unit fraction of the flux quantum pierces the superlattice unit cell. Graphene superlattices such as this one provide a way of studying the rich physics expected in incommensurable quantum systems(7-9,22-24) and illustrate the possibility of controllably modifying the electronic spectra of two-dimensional atomic crystals by varying their crystallographic alignment within van der Waals heterostuctures(25).

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Nature
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1000
Subjects:
ID Code:
66242
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Sep 2013 08:03
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
03 Dec 2020 09:58