Nature, Vol.589, No.7843, 536-+, 2021
Correlation-driven topological phases in magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene
Magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene (MATBG) exhibits a range of correlated phenomena that originate from strong electron-electron interactions. These interactions make the Fermi surface highly susceptible to reconstruction when +/- 1, +/- 2 and +/- 3 electrons occupy each moire unit cell, and lead to the formation of various correlated phases(1-4). Although some phases have been shown to have a non-zero Chern number(5,6), the local microscopic properties and topological character of many other phases have not yet been determined. Here we introduce a set of techniques that use scanning tunnelling microscopy to map the topological phases that emerge in MATBG in a finite magnetic field. By following the evolution of the local density of states at the Fermi level with electrostatic doping and magnetic field, we create a local Landau fan diagram that enables us to assign Chern numbers directly to all observed phases. We uncover the existence of six topological phases that arise from integer fillings in finite fields and that originate from a cascade of symmetry-breaking transitions driven by correlations(7,8). These topological phases can form only for a small range of twist angles around the magic angle, which further differentiates them from the Landau levels observed near charge neutrality. Moreover, we observe that even the charge-neutrality Landau spectrum taken at low fields is considerably modified by interactions, exhibits prominent electron-hole asymmetry, and features an unexpectedly large splitting between zero Landau levels (about 3 to 5 millielectronvolts). Our results show how strong electronic interactions affect the MATBG band structure and lead to correlation-enabled topological phases.