Anisotropic electronic states in the fractional quantum Hall regime

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Recent experiments indicate the presence of new anisotropic fractional quantum Hall states at regimes not anticipated before. These experiments raise many fundamental questions regarding the inner nature of the electronic system that leads to such anisotropic states. Interplay between electron mass anisotropy and electron-electron correlation effects in a magnetic field can create a rich variety of possibilities. Several anisotropic electronic states ranging from anisotropic quantum Hall liquids to anisotropic Wigner solids may stabilize due to such effects. The electron mass anisotropy in a two-dimensional electron gas effectively leads to an anisotropic Coulomb interaction potential between electrons. An anisotropic interaction potential may strongly influence the stability of various quantum phases that are close in energy since the overall stability of an electronic system is very sensitive to local order. As a result there is a possibility that various anisotropic electronic phases may emerge even in the lowest Landau level in regimes where one would not expect them. In this work we study the state with filling factor 1/6 in the lowest Landau level, a state which is very close to the critical filling factor where the liquid-solid transition takes place. We investigate whether an anisotropic Coulomb interaction potential is able to stabilize an anisotropic electronic liquid state at this filling factor. We describe such an anisotropic state by means of a liquid crystalline wave function with broken rotational symmetry which can be adiabatically connected to the actual wave function for the corresponding isotropic phase. We perform quantum Monte Carlo simulations in a disk geometry to study the properties of the anisotropic electronic liquid state under consideration. The findings indicate stability of liquid crystalline order in presence of an anisotropic Coulomb interaction potential. The results are consistent with the existence of an anisotropic electronic liquid state in the lowest Landau level.

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