Nagaoka ferromagnetism observed in a quantum dot plaquette

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Journal Article
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The analytical tractability of Nagaoka ferromagnetism makes it a convenient model to explore the capabilities of quantum simulators of collective electron interactions. However, the small ground-to-excited state energy compared to electron interactions, as well as the difficulty of measuring magnetization in few particle devices, have made the Nagaoka model experimentally unattainable. Here we present experimental signatures of the ferromagnetic ground state, predicted for 3 electrons in a 4 site square plaquette, engineered using electrostatically defined quantum dots. We test the robustness of the Nagaoka condition under different scenarios of lattice topology, device homogeneity and magnetic flux through the plaquette. This long-sought demonstration of Nagaoka ferromagnetism establishes quantum dot systems as prime candidates for quantum simulators of magnetic phenomena driven by electron-electron interactions.
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