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Breakdown of topological protection by cavity vacuum fields in the integer quantum Hall effect

Abstract : The prospect of controlling the electronic properties of materials via the vacuum fields of cavity electromagnetic resonators is emerging as one of the frontiers of condensed matter physics. We found that the enhancement of vacuum field fluctuations in subwavelength split-ring resonators strongly affects one of the most paradigmatic quantum protectorates, the quantum Hall electron transport in high-mobility two-dimensional electron gases. The observed breakdown of the topological protection of the integer quantum Hall effect is interpreted in terms of a long-range cavity-mediated electron hopping where the anti-resonant terms of the light-matter coupling Hamiltonian develop into a finite resistivity induced by the vacuum fluctuations. Our experimental platform can be used for any two-dimensional material and provides a route to manipulate electron phases in matter by means of vacuum-field engineering.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 5:17:58 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:44:05 AM

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Felice Appugliese, Josefine Enkner, Gian Lorenzo Paravicini-Bagliani, Mattias Beck, Christian Reichl, et al.. Breakdown of topological protection by cavity vacuum fields in the integer quantum Hall effect. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2022, 375 (6584), pp.1030-1034. ⟨10.1126/science.abl5818⟩. ⟨hal-03670794⟩

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