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Competing correlated states around the zero-field Wigner crystallization transition of electrons in two dimensions

Falson, J. and Sodemann, I. and Skinner, B. and Tabrea, D. and Kozuka, Y. and Tsukazaki, A. and Kawasaki, M. and von Klitzing, K. and Smet, J. H. (2022) Competing correlated states around the zero-field Wigner crystallization transition of electrons in two dimensions. Nature Materials, 21 (3). pp. 311-316. ISSN 1476-1122.

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The competition between kinetic energy and Coulomb interactions in electronic systems leads to complex many-body ground states with competing orders. Here we present zinc oxide-based two-dimensional electron systems as a high-mobility system to study the low-temperature phases of strongly interacting electrons. An analysis of the electronic transport provides evidence for competing correlated metallic and insulating states with varying degrees of spin polarization. Some features bear quantitative resemblance to quantum Monte Carlo simulation results, including the transition point from the paramagnetic Fermi liquid to Wigner crystal and the absence of a Stoner transition. At very low temperatures, we resolve a non-monotonic spin polarizability of electrons across the phase transition, pointing towards a low spin phase of electrons, and a two-order-of-magnitude positive magnetoresistance that is challenging to understand within traditional metallic transport paradigms. This work establishes zinc oxide as a platform for studying strongly correlated electrons in two dimensions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Falson, J.0000-0003-3183-9864
Sodemann, I.0000-0002-1824-5167
Skinner, B.0000-0003-0774-3563
Tabrea, D.0000-0001-7656-0627
Kozuka, Y.0000-0001-7674-600X
Tsukazaki, A.0000-0003-0251-063X
Kawasaki, M.0000-0001-6397-4812
von Klitzing, K.0000-0002-1720-7396
Smet, J. H.0000-0002-4719-8873
Additional Information:© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022. Received 14 April 2021; Accepted 04 November 2021; Published 23 December 2021. We appreciate discussions with I. Aleiner, J. Checkelsky, S. Das Sarma, N. Drummond, J. Eisenstein, S. Kivelson, C. Murthy, B. Narozhny, B. Spivak and A. Young, along with technical support from J.-S. Xia, N. Sullivan, G. Euchner and S. Wahl. J.F. acknowledges support from the Max Planck Institute, University of British Columbia and University of Tokyo Center for Quantum Materials; the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FA 1392/2-1); and the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontiers Center (grant PHY-1733907). B.S. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant DMR-2045742. Y.K. acknowledges the Japan Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO grant number JPMJPR1763, Japan. M.K. acknowledges the financial support of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST grant number JPMJCR16F1, Japan. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on request. Author Contributions: J.F. and D.T. gathered experimental data. J.F. performed the molecular beam epitaxy with assistance from Y.K., A.T. and M.K. J.F., I.S. and B.S. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Materials thanks Rui-Rui Du, Raymond Ashoori and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Max Planck InstituteUNSPECIFIED
University of British ColumbiaUNSPECIFIED
University of TokyoUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)FA 1392/2-1
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Japan Science and Technology AgencyJPMJPR1763
Japan Science and Technology AgencyJPMJCR16F1
Subject Keywords:Phase transitions and critical phenomena; Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210409-151541040
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Official Citation:Falson, J., Sodemann, I., Skinner, B. et al. Competing correlated states around the zero-field Wigner crystallization transition of electrons in two dimensions. Nat. Mater. 21, 311–316 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108682
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Apr 2021 23:10
Last Modified:22 Mar 2022 18:48

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