Condensed Matter Journal Club

Observation of Dirac bands in Artificial Graphene in Small-Period Nanopatterned GaAs Quantum Wells

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 2:30 PM
Print

Condensed Matter Journal Club

Simon Watkins
Dept of Physics, SFU

Observation of Dirac bands in Artificial Graphene in Small-Period Nanopatterned GaAs Quantum Wells

Mar 28, 2018 at 2:30pm in P8445.2

Synopsis

Charge carriers in graphene behave like massless Dirac fermions (MDFs) with linear energy-momentum dispersion, providing a condensed-matter platform for studying quasiparticles with relativistic-like features. Artificial graphene (AG)—a structure with an artificial honeycomb lattice— exhibits novel phenomena due to the tunable interplay between topology and quasiparticle interactions. So far, the emergence of a Dirac band structure supporting MDFs has been observed in AG using molecular, atomic, and photonic systems, including those with semiconductor microcavities. Here, we report the realization of an AG that has a band structure with vanishing density of states consistent with the presence of MDFs. This observation is enabled by a very small lattice constant (a = 50 nm) of the nanofabricated AG patterns superimposed on a two-dimensional electron gas hosted by a high-quality GaAs quantum well. Resonant inelastic light-scattering spectra reveal low-lying transitions that are not present in the unpatterned GaAs quantum well. These excitations reveal the energy dependence of the joint density of states for AG band transitions. Fermi level tuning through the Dirac point results in a collapse of the density of states at low transition energy, suggesting the emergence of the MDF linear dispersion in the AG.