Correlated electronic phases in twisted bilayer transition metal dichalcogenides

Nature Materials 19, 861 - 866 (2020)

Correlated electronic phases in twisted bilayer transition metal dichalcogenides

Lei Wang,En-Min Shih, Augusto Ghiotto,Lede Xian, Daniel A. Rhodes, Cheng Tan,Martin Claassen,Dante M. Kennes,Yusong Bai,Bumho Kim, Kenji Watanabe,Takashi Taniguchi, Xiaoyang Zhu, James Hone, Angel Rubio,Abhay N. Pasupathy, Cory R. Dean

In narrow electron bands in which the Coulomb interaction energy becomes comparable to the bandwidth, interactions can drive new quantum phases. Such flat bands in twisted graphene-based systems result in correlated insulator, superconducting and topological states. Here we report evidence of low-energy flat bands in twisted bilayer WSe2, with signatures of collective phases observed over twist angles that range from 4 to 5.1°. At half-band filling, a correlated insulator appeared that is tunable with both twist angle and displacement field. At a 5.1° twist, zero-resistance pockets were observed on doping away from half filling at temperatures below 3 K, which indicates a possible transition to a superconducting state. The observation of tunable collective phases in a simple band, which hosts only two holes per unit cell at full filling, establishes twisted bilayer transition metal dichalcogenides as an ideal platform to study correlated physics in two dimensions on a triangular lattice.

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Studies of the tunable correlated states in the twisted bilayer WSe2 were supported as part of Programmable Quantum Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), under award DE-SC0019443. The synthesis of the WSe2 crystals was supported by the NSF MRSEC programme through Columbia in the Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids (DMR-1420634). The theoretical work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC-2015-AdG694097), cluster of Excellence AIM, SFB925 and Grupos Consolidados (IT1249-19). The Flatiron Institute is a division of the Simons Foundation. We acknowledge support from the Max Planck–New York Center for Non-Equilibrium Quantum Phenomena. We thank F. Wu and L. Fu for helpful discussions. We also thank O. Stapleton, P. Wu and Z. Zheng for help in the device fabrication.

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