Strange Metals from Melting Correlated Insulators in Twisted Bilayer Graphene

Peter Cha, Aavishkar A. Patel, Eun Ah Kim

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11 Scopus citations


Even as the understanding of the mechanism behind correlated insulating states in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene converges toward various kinds of spontaneous symmetry breaking, the metallic "normal state"above the insulating transition temperature remains mysterious, with its excessively high entropy and linear-in-temperature resistivity. In this Letter, we focus on the effects of fluctuations of the order parameters describing correlated insulating states at integer fillings of the low-energy flat bands on charge transport. Motivated by the observation of heterogeneity in the order-parameter landscape at zero magnetic field in certain samples, we conjecture the existence of frustrating extended-range interactions in an effective Ising model of the order parameters on a triangular lattice. The competition between short-distance ferromagnetic interactions and frustrating extended-range antiferromagnetic interactions leads to an emergent length scale that forms stripy mesoscale domains above the ordering transition. The gapless fluctuations of these heterogeneous configurations are found to be responsible for the linear-in-temperature resistivity as well as the enhanced low-temperature entropy. Our insights link experimentally observed linear-in-temperature resistivity and enhanced entropy to the strength of frustration or, equivalently, to the emergence of mesoscopic length scales characterizing order-parameter domains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number266601
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 24 Dec 2021

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