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Title: Possible nematic to smectic phase transition in a two-dimensional electron gas at half-filling

Abstract

Liquid crystalline phases of matter permeate nature and technology, with instances ranging from cell membranes to liquid-crystal displays. Remarkably, electronic liquid-crystal phases can exist in two-dimensional electron systems (2DES) at half Landau-level filling in the quantum Hall regime. Theory has predicted the existence of a liquid-crystal smectic phase that breaks both rotational and translational symmetries. However, previous experiments in 2DES are most consistent with an anisotropic nematic phase breaking only rotational symmetry. Here we report three transport phenomena at half-filling in ultra-low disorder 2DES: a non-monotonic temperature dependence of the sample resistance, dramatic onset of large time-dependent resistance fluctuations, and a sharp feature in the differential resistance suggestive of depinning. These data imply that a sequence of symmetry-breaking phase transitions occurs as temperature is lowered: first a transition from an isotropic liquid to a nematic phase and finally to a liquid-crystal smectic phase.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1526282
Grant/Contract Number:  
[SC0006671]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1]; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Qian, Q., Nakamura, J., Fallahi, S., Gardner, G. C., and Manfra, M. J. Possible nematic to smectic phase transition in a two-dimensional electron gas at half-filling. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01810-y.
Qian, Q., Nakamura, J., Fallahi, S., Gardner, G. C., & Manfra, M. J. Possible nematic to smectic phase transition in a two-dimensional electron gas at half-filling. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01810-y.
Qian, Q., Nakamura, J., Fallahi, S., Gardner, G. C., and Manfra, M. J. Thu . "Possible nematic to smectic phase transition in a two-dimensional electron gas at half-filling". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01810-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1526282.
@article{osti_1526282,
title = {Possible nematic to smectic phase transition in a two-dimensional electron gas at half-filling},
author = {Qian, Q. and Nakamura, J. and Fallahi, S. and Gardner, G. C. and Manfra, M. J.},
abstractNote = {Liquid crystalline phases of matter permeate nature and technology, with instances ranging from cell membranes to liquid-crystal displays. Remarkably, electronic liquid-crystal phases can exist in two-dimensional electron systems (2DES) at half Landau-level filling in the quantum Hall regime. Theory has predicted the existence of a liquid-crystal smectic phase that breaks both rotational and translational symmetries. However, previous experiments in 2DES are most consistent with an anisotropic nematic phase breaking only rotational symmetry. Here we report three transport phenomena at half-filling in ultra-low disorder 2DES: a non-monotonic temperature dependence of the sample resistance, dramatic onset of large time-dependent resistance fluctuations, and a sharp feature in the differential resistance suggestive of depinning. These data imply that a sequence of symmetry-breaking phase transitions occurs as temperature is lowered: first a transition from an isotropic liquid to a nematic phase and finally to a liquid-crystal smectic phase.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-017-01810-y},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = [1],
volume = [8],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Cartoon of electronic liquid-crystal phases at half-filling. a Isotropic liquid. b Nematic liquid crystal. c Smectic liquid crystal. d Anisotropic stripe crystal (after Kivelson, Fradkin, and Emery). Blue regions indicate high filling factor (i.e., high density of electron guiding centers) and white regions

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Orientation of hole quantum Hall nematic phases in an out-of-plane electric field
    journal, May 2019


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.