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See detailTuning the Pseudospin Polarization of Graphene by a Pseudomagnetic Field
Georgi, Alexander; Nemes-Incze, Peter; Carrillo-Bastos, Ramon et al

in Nano Letters (2017), 17

One of the intriguing characteristics of honeycomb lattices is the appearance of a pseudomagnetic field as a result of mechanical deformation. In the case of graphene, the Landau quantization resulting ... [more ▼]

One of the intriguing characteristics of honeycomb lattices is the appearance of a pseudomagnetic field as a result of mechanical deformation. In the case of graphene, the Landau quantization resulting from this pseudomagnetic field has been measured using scanning tunneling microscopy. Here we show that a signature of the pseudomagnetic field is a local sublattice symmetry breaking observable as a redistribution of the local density of states. This can be interpreted as a polarization of graphene’s pseudospin due to a strain induced pseudomagnetic field, in analogy to the alignment of a real spin in a magnetic field. We reveal this sublattice symmetry breaking by tunably straining graphene using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope. The tip locally lifts the graphene membrane from a SiO2 support, as visible by an increased slope of the I(z) curves. The amount of lifting is consistent with molecular dynamics calculations, which reveal a deformed graphene area under the tip in the shape of a Gaussian. The pseudomagnetic field induced by the deformation becomes visible as a sublattice symmetry breaking which scales with the lifting height of the strained deformation and therefore with the pseudomagnetic field strength. Its magnitude is quantitatively reproduced by analytic and tight-binding models, revealing fields of 1000 T. These results might be the starting point for an effective THz valley filter, as a basic element of valleytronics. [less ▲]

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