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Bloch, Landau, and Dirac: Hofstadter’s Butterfly in Graphene

PKim Electrons moving in a periodic electric potential form Bloch energy bands where the electron masses are effectively changed. In a strong magnetic field, the cyclotron orbits of free electrons are quantized and Landau levels form with a massive degeneracy within. In 1976, Hofstadter showed that for 2-dimensional electronic system, the intriguing interplay between these two quantization effects can lead into a self-similar fractal set of energy spectrum known as “Hofstadter’s Butterfly.” Experimental efforts to demonstrate this fascinating electron energy spectrum have continued ever since. Recent advent of graphene, where its Bloch electrons can be described by Dirac fermions, provides a new opportunity to investigate this half century old problem experimentally. In this presentation, I will discuss the experimental realization Hofstadter’s Butterfly via substrate engineered graphene under extremely high magnetic fields controlling two competing length scales governing Dirac-Bloch states and Landau orbits, respectively.