Signatures of Gate-Tunable Superconductivity in Trilayer Graphene/Boron Nitride Moir\'e Superlattice

Research paper by Guorui Chen, Aaron L. Sharpe, Patrick Gallagher, Ilan T. Rosen, Eli Fox, Lili Jiang, Bosai Lyu, Hongyuan Li, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Jeil Jung, Zhiwen Shi, David Goldhaber-Gordon, Yuanbo Zhang, Feng Wang

Indexed on: 14 Jan '19Published on: 14 Jan '19Published in: arXiv - Physics - Superconductivity


Understanding the mechanism of high temperature (high Tc) superconductivity is a central problem in condensed matter physics. It is often speculated that high Tc superconductivity arises from a doped Mott insulator as described by the Hubbard model. An exact solution of the Hubbard model, however, is extremely challenging due to the strong electron-electron correlation. Therefore, it is highly desirable to experimentally study a model Hubbard system in which the unconventional superconductivity can be continuously tuned by varying the Hubbard parameters. Here we report signatures of tunable superconductivity in ABC-trilayer graphene (TLG) / boron nitride (hBN) moir\'e superlattice. Unlike "magic angle" twisted bilayer graphene, theoretical calculations show that under a vertical displacement field the ABC-TLG/hBN heterostructure features an isolated flat valence miniband associated with a Hubbard model on a triangular superlattice. Upon applying such a displacement field we find experimentally that the ABC-TLG/hBN superlattice displays Mott insulating states below 20 Kelvin at 1/4 and 1/2 fillings, corresponding to 1 and 2 holes per unit cell, respectively. Upon further cooling, signatures of superconducting domes emerge below 1 kelvin for the electron- and hole-doped sides of the 1/4 filling Mott state. The electronic behavior in the TLG/hBN superlattice is expected to depend sensitively on the interplay between the electron-electron interaction and the miniband bandwidth, which can be tuned continuously with the displacement field D. By simply varying the D field, we demonstrate transitions from the candidate superconductor to Mott insulator and metallic phases. Our study shows that TLG/hBN heterostructures offer an attractive model system to explore rich correlated behavior emerging in the tunable triangular Hubbard model.