Dirac-Weyl fermions with arbitrary spin in two-dimensional optical superlattices

Zhihao Lan, N. Goldman, A. Bermudez, W. Lu, Patrik Ohberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Dirac-Weyl fermions are massless relativistic particles with a well-defined helicity which arise in the context of high-energy physics. Here we propose a quantum simulation of these paradigmatic fermions using multicomponent ultracold atoms in a two-dimensional square optical lattice. We find that laser-assisted spin-dependent hopping, specifically tuned to the (2s + 1)-dimensional representations of the su(2) Lie algebra, directly leads to a regime where the emerging massless excitations correspond to Dirac-Weyl fermions with arbitrary pseudospin s. We show that this platform hosts two different phases: a semimetallic phase that occurs for half-integer s, and a metallic phase that contains a flat zero-energy band at integer s. These phases host a variety of interesting effects, such as a very rich anomalous quantum Hall effect and a remarkable multirefringent Klein tunneling. In addition, we show that these effects are directly related to the number of underlying Dirac-Weyl species and zero modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165115
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2011


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