|Title||Proximity effects in cold atom artificial graphene|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||T. Grass, R. W. Chhajlany, L. Tarruell, V. Pellegrini, and M. Lewenstein|
Cold atoms in an optical lattice with brick-wall geometry have been used to mimic graphene, a two-dimensional material with characteristic Dirac excitations. Here we propose to bring such artificial graphene into the proximity of a second atomic layer with a square lattice geometry. For non-interacting fermions, we find that such bilayer system undergoes a phase transition from a graphene-like semi-metal phase, characterized by a band structure with Dirac points, to a gapped band insulator phase. In the presence of attractive interactions between fermions with pseudospin-1/2 degree of freedom, a competition between semi-metal and superfluid behavior is found at the mean-field level. Using the quantum Monte Carlo method, we also investigate the case of strong repulsive interactions. In the Mott phase, each layer exhibits a different amount of long-range magnetic order. Upon coupling both layers, a valence-bond crystal is formed at a critical coupling strength. Finally, we discuss how these bilayer systems could be realized in existing cold atom experiments.