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Zero-Magnetic Field Fractional Quantum States

Kumar, S; Pepper, M; Holmes, SN; Montagu, H; Gul, Y; Ritchie, DA; Farrer, I; (2019) Zero-Magnetic Field Fractional Quantum States. Physical Review Letters , 122 (8) , Article 086803. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.086803. Green open access

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Since the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect in 1982 there has been considerable theoretical discussion on the possibility of fractional quantization of conductance in the absence of Landau levels formed by a quantizing magnetic field. Although various situations have been theoretically envisaged, particularly lattice models in which band flattening resembles Landau levels, the predicted fractions have never been observed. In this Letter, we show that odd and even denominator fractions can be observed, and manipulated, in the absence of a quantizing magnetic field, when a low-density electron system in a GaAs based one-dimensional quantum wire is allowed to relax in the second dimension. It is suggested that such a relaxation results in formation of a zigzag array of electrons with ring paths which establish a cyclic current and a resultant lowering of energy. The behavior has been observed for both symmetric and asymmetric confinement but increasing the asymmetry of the confinement potential, to result in a flattening of confinement, enhances the appearance of new fractional states. We find that an in-plane magnetic field induces new even denominator fractions possibly indicative of electron pairing. The new quantum states described here have implications both for the physics of low dimensional electron systems and also for quantum technologies. This work will enable further development of structures which are designed to electrostatically manipulate the electrons for the formation of particular configurations. In turn, this could result in a designer tailoring of fractional states to amplify particular properties of importance in future quantum computation.

Type: Article
Title: Zero-Magnetic Field Fractional Quantum States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.086803
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.086803
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069333
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