Wigner crystals in two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides: Spin physics and readout

J. Knörzer, M. J. A. Schuetz, G. Giedke, D. S. Wild, K. De Greve, R. Schmidt, M. D. Lukin, and J. I. Cirac
Physical Review B   Published 2020

Abstract

Wigner crystals are prime candidates for the realization of regular electron lattices under minimal requirements on external control and electronics. However, several technical challenges have prevented their detailed experimental investigation and applications to date. We propose an implementation of two-dimensional electron lattices for quantum simulation of Ising spin systems based on self-assembled Wigner crystals in transition-metal dichalcogenides. We show that these semiconductors allow for minimally invasive all-optical detection schemes of charge ordering and total spin. For incident light with optimally chosen beam parameters and polarization, we predict a strong dependence of the transmitted and reflected signals on the underlying lattice periodicity, thus revealing the charge order inherent in Wigner crystals. At the same time, the selection rules in transition-metal dichalcogenides provide direct access to the spin degree of freedom via Faraday rotation measurements.