Microscopic evolution of doped Mott insulators from polaronic metal to Fermi liquid

October 01, 2021
Phase diagram of two-dimensional antiferromagnets as a function of doping and temperature.

The competition between antiferromagnetism and hole motion in two-dimensional Mott insulators lies at the heart of a doping-dependent transition from an anomalous metal to a conventional Fermi liquid. Condensed matter experiments suggest charge carriers change their nature within this crossover, but a complete understanding remains elusive. We observe such a crossover in Fermi-Hubbard systems on a cold-atom quantum simulator and reveal the transformation of multi-point correlations between spins and holes upon increasing doping at temperatures around the superexchange energy. Conventional observables, such as spin susceptibility, are furthermore computed from the microscopic snapshots of the system. Starting from a magnetic polaron regime, we find the system evolves into a Fermi liquid featuring incommensurate magnetic fluctuations and fundamentally altered correlations. The crossover is completed for hole dopings around 30%. Our work benchmarks theoretical approaches and discusses possible connections to lower temperature phenomena.  

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