Transport spectroscopy of symmetry-broken insulating states in bilayer graphene

J. Velasco, L. Jing, W. Bao, Y. Lee, P. Kratz, V. Aji, M. Bockrath, C. N. Lau, C. Varma, R. Stillwell, D. Smirnov, Fan Zhang, J. Jung, A. H. MacDonald

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Bilayer graphene is an attractive platform for studying new two-dimensional electron physics, because its flat energy bands are sensitive to out-of-plane electric fields and these bands magnify electronĝ€"electron interaction effects. Theory predicts a variety of interesting broken symmetry states when the electron density is at the carrier neutrality point, and some of these states are characterized by spontaneous mass gaps, which lead to insulating behaviour. These proposed gaps are analogous to the masses generated by broken symmetries in particle physics, and they give rise to large Berry phase effects accompanied by spontaneous quantum Hall effects. Although recent experiments have provided evidence for strong electronic correlations near the charge neutrality point, the presence of gaps remains controversial. Here, we report transport measurements in ultraclean double-gated bilayer graphene and use sourceĝ€"drain bias as a spectroscopic tool to resolve a gap of ∼ 2 meV at the charge neutrality point. The gap can be closed by a perpendicular electric field of strength ∼ 15 cmV -1, but it increases monotonically with magnetic field, with an apparent particleĝ€"hole asymmetry above the gap. These data represent the first spectroscopic mapping of the ground states in bilayer graphene in the presence of both electric and magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


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