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Fractional lattice charge transport

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Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Submission Date
Identifiers
arXiv ID: 1606.03703
Source
arXiv
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Abstract

We consider the dynamics of noninteracting electrons on a square lattice in the presence of a magnetic flux {\alpha} and a dc electric field E oriented along the lattice diagonal. In general, the adiabatic dynamics of an electron will be characterized by Bloch oscillations in the electrical field direction and dispersive ballistic transport in the perpendicular direction. For rational values of {\alpha} and a corresponding discrete set of values of E({\alpha}) vanishing gaps in the spectrum induce a fractionalization of the charge in the perpendicular direction - while left movers are still performing dispersive ballistic transport, the complementary fraction of right movers is propagating in a dispersionless relativistic manner in the opposite direction. Generalizations to other field directions, lattice symmetries and the possible probing of the effect with atomic Bose-Einstein condensates and photonic networks are discussed.

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