Piazza, Vincenzo and Pellegrini, Vittorio and Beltram, Fabio and Wegscheider, Werner and Jungwirth, Tomás and MacDonald, Allan H. (1999) First-order phase transitions in a quantum Hall ferromagnet. Nature 402, pp. 638-641.
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The single-particle energy spectrum of a two-dimensional electron gas in a perpendicular magnetic field consists of equally spaced energy states, known as Landau levels. Each level is split owing to spin interactions, and its degeneracy is proportional to the magnetic field strength. When the ratio, nu (or 'filling factor'), of the number of electrons and the degeneracy of a Landau level takes an integer or particular fractional values, quantum Hall effects1 occur, characterized by a vanishingly small longitudinal resistance and a quantized (transverse) Hall voltage2. The quantum Hall regime may be used for the controlled study of many-particle cooperative phenomena, such as order–disorder phase transitions (analogous to those observed in conventional magnets). Both isotropic and anisotropic ferromagnetic ground states have been predicted3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 to occur in the quantum Hall regime, some of which have been investigated experimentally9, 10, 11, 12, 13 in samples with different geometries and filling factors. Here we report evidence for first-order phase transitions in quantum Hall states (nu = 2,4) confined to a wide gallium arsenide quantum well. We observe hysteresis and an anomalous temperature dependence in the longitudinal resistivity, indicative of a transition between two distinct ground states of an Ising quantum Hall ferromagnet. The microscopic origin of the anisotropy field is identified using detailed many-body calculations.
|Institutions:||Physics > Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics > Retired Professors > Group Werner Wegscheider|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 530 Physics|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Unknown|
|Deposited On:||30 Nov 2009 14:25|
|Last Modified:||30 Nov 2009 14:25|
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