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Creating, moving and merging Dirac points with a Fermi gas in a tunable honeycomb lattice

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Abstract

We report on the creation of Dirac points with adjustable properties in a tunable honeycomb optical lattice [1]. Using momentum-resolved interband transitions, we observe a minimum band gap inside the Brillouin zone at the position of the Dirac points. We exploit the unique tunability of our lattice potential to adjust the effective mass of the Dirac fermions by breaking the inversion symmetry of the lattice. Moreover, changing the lattice anisotropy allows us to move the position of the Dirac points inside the Brillouin zone. When increasing the anisotropy beyond a critical limit, the two Dirac points merge and annihilate each other. We map out this topological transition in lattice parameter space and find excellent agreement with ab initio calculations. Our results pave the way to model materials where the topology of the band structure plays a crucial role, and provide the possibility to explore many-body phases resulting from the interplay of complex lattice geometries with interactions.
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Dates and versions

hal-00820435 , version 1 (04-05-2013)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-00820435 , version 1

Cite

Leticia Tarruell, Daniel Greif, Thomas Uehlinger, Gregor Jotzu, Tilman Esslinger. Creating, moving and merging Dirac points with a Fermi gas in a tunable honeycomb lattice. WINTER CONFERENCE 2012: New Directions in Ultracold Atoms, Jan 2012, Aspen, United States. ⟨hal-00820435⟩
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