Evidence for a new symmetry breaking mechanism reorienting quantum Hall nematics

Q. Shi, M. A. Zudov, J. D. Watson, G. C. Gardner, M. J. Manfra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on the effect of in-plane magnetic field B on stripe phases in higher (N=2,3) Landau levels of a high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas. In accord with previous studies, we find that a modest B applied parallel to the native stripes aligns them perpendicular to it. However, upon further increase of B, stripes are reoriented back to their native direction. Remarkably, applying B perpendicular to the native stripes also aligns stripes parallel to it. Thus, regardless of the initial orientation of stripes with respect to B, stripes are ultimately aligned parallel to B. These findings provide evidence for a B-induced symmetry-breaking mechanism which challenge current understanding of the role of B and should be taken into account when determining the strength of the native symmetry-breaking potential. Finally, our results might indicate nontrivial coupling between the native and external symmetry-breaking fields, which has not yet been theoretically considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121411
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume93
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 2016

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