21.01.2022 Terahertz Fingerprint of Monolayer Wigner Crystals (published in Nano Letters)

Wigner crystals are solid, crystalline phases of electrons, formed at low temperatures in order to minimize their repulsive energy. This formation is one of the most intriguing quantum phase transitions and their experimental realization remains challenging since their theoretical prediction. However, the strong Coulomb interaction in monolayer semiconductors represents a unique opportunity for the realization of Wigner crystals without external magnetic fields. In this work, we predicted that the formation of monolayer Wigner crystals can be detected by their terahertz response spectrum, which exhibits a characteristic sequence of internal optical transitions. Moreover, a characteristic shift of the peak position as a function of charge density for different atomically thin materials was predicted and showed how the results can be generalized to an arbitrary two-dimensional system. The results will guide future experiments toward the detection of Wigner crystallization and help to study the interaction dynamics in pure and generalized Wigner crystals in twisted bilayers.

Press Release: Terahertzstrahlen verraten Elektronen-Kristalle

Nano Letters 3, 1311 (2022)