Wigner crystals in atomically thin heterostructures
Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland
Abstract: A Wigner solid — a crystal made entirely of electrons — is a model system for understanding electron correlation physics that underlies a wide range of phenomena, including high-temperature superconductivity and metal-insulator transitions. Despite decades of research, it has been challenging to realize Wigner crystals in the so-called quantum regime where quantum effects dominate over thermal fluctuations. In this talk, I will introduce how atomically thin semiconductors, such as transition metal dichalcogenides, form an exciting new materials platform to investigate these correlated electronic states. I will describe how we improve the materials quality, probe the crystallization of electrons from optical spectroscopy, and determine how they melt. Finally, I will discuss how these experiments can open new avenues for simulating quantum many-body states and quantum information processing.
Host: Xuan Gao