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Moiré heterostructures as a condensed-matter quantum simulator


Twisted van der Waals heterostructures have latterly received prominent attention for their many remarkable experimental properties and the promise that they hold for realizing elusive states of matter in the laboratory. We propose that these systems can, in fact, be used as a robust quantum simulation platform that enables the study of strongly correlated physics and topology in quantum materials. Among the features that make these materials a versatile toolbox are the tunability of their properties through readily accessible external parameters such as gating, straining, packing and twist angle; the feasibility to realize and control a large number of fundamental many-body quantum models relevant in the field of condensed-matter physics; and finally, the availability of experimental readout protocols that directly map their rich phase diagrams in and out of equilibrium. This general framework makes it possible to robustly realize and functionalize new phases of matter in a modular fashion, thus broadening the landscape of accessible physics and holding promise for future technological applications.

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Fig. 1: Moiré quantum simulator.


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This work is supported by the European Research Council (ERC-2015-AdG-694097) and Grupos Consolidados (IT1249-19). M.C., A.J.M., A.G. and A.R. are supported by the Flatiron Institute, a division of the Simons Foundation. We acknowledge funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy - Cluster of Excellence Matter and Light for Quantum Computing (ML4Q) EXC 2004/1 - 390534769, within the Priority Program SPP 2244 ‘2DMP’ and Advanced Imaging of Matter (AIM) EXC 2056 - 390715994 and funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through RTG 1995 and RTG 2247. Support by the Max Planck Institute - New York City Center for Non-Equilibrium Quantum Phenomena is acknowledged. Work at Columbia is supported as part of Programmable Quantum Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), under award DE-SC0019443. D.N.B. is a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow ONR-VB: N00014-19-1-2630. A.N.P. acknowledges support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research via grant FA9550-16-1-0601.

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Kennes, D.M., Claassen, M., Xian, L. et al. Moiré heterostructures as a condensed-matter quantum simulator. Nat. Phys. 17, 155–163 (2021).

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