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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Aug 5;95(6):066809. Epub 2005 Aug 5.

Observation of quantum Hall "valley Skyrmions".

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


We report measurements of the interaction-induced quantum Hall effect in a spin-polarized AlAs two-dimensional electron system where the electrons occupy two in-plane conduction band valleys. Via the application of in-plane strain, we tune the energies of these valleys and measure the energy gap of the quantum Hall state at filling factor nu = 1. The gap has a finite value even at zero strain and, with strain, rises much faster than expected from a single-particle picture, suggesting that the lowest energy charged excitations at nu = 1 are "valley Skyrmions."

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