Interacting Dirac fermions under spatially alternating pseudo-magnetic field: Realization of spontaneous quantum Hall effect


Both topological crystalline insulators surfaces and graphene host multi-valley massless Dirac fermions which are not pinned to a high-symmetry point of the Brillouin zone. Strain couples to the low-energy electrons as a time-reversal invariant gauge field, leading to the formation of pseudo-Landau levels (PLL). Here we study periodic pseudo-magnetic fields originating from strain superlattices. We study the low-energy Dirac PLL spectrum induced by the strain superlattice and analyze the effect of various polarized states. Through self-consistent Hartree-Fock calculations we establish that, due to the strain superlattice and PLL electronic structure, a valley-ordered state spontaneously breaking time-reversal and realizing a quantum Hall phase is favored, while others are suppressed.Comment: 13 pages + 2 appendices, 9 figure

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