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Mechanism for Anomalous Hall Ferromagnetism in Twisted Bilayer Graphene


Motivated by the recent observation of an anomalous Hall effect in twisted bilayer graphene, we use a lowest Landau level model to understand the origin of the underlying symmetry-broken correlated state. This effective model is rooted in the occurrence of Chern bands which arise due to the coupling between the graphene device and its encapsulating substrate. Our model exhibits a phase transition from a spin-valley polarized insulator to a partial or fully valley unpolarized metal as the bandwidth is increased relative to the interaction strength, consistent with experimental observations. In sharp contrast to standard quantum Hall ferromagnetism, the Chern number structure of the flat bands precludes an instability to an intervalley coherent phase, but allows for an excitonic vortex lattice at large interaction anisotropy.

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