Exciton Proliferation and Fate of the Topological Mott Insulator in a Twisted Bilayer Graphene Lattice Model
Topological Mott insulating (TMI) state with spontaneous time-reversal symmetry breaking and nonzero Chern number has been shown to appear in a real-space effective model for twisted bilayer graphene (TBG) at 3/4 filling in the strong coupling limit. However, the dynamic and thermodynamic properties of such a TMI state remain illusive. In this work, employing the state-of-the-art thermal tensor network and the perturbative field-theoretical approaches, we obtain the finite-T phase diagram and the dynamical properties of the TBG model. The phase diagram includes the quantum anomalous Hall and charge density wave phases at low T, and a phase transition of two-dimensional Ising universality separating them from the high-T symmetric phase. Due to the proliferation of excitons -- particle-hole bound states -- the transitions take place at a significantly reduced temperature than the mean-field estimation. Our work explains the smearing of the many-electron state topology by proliferating excitons consisted of quasiparticles from bands of with opposite Chern numbers, and opens the avenue for controlled many-body investigations on finite-temperature states in the TBG and other quantum moire systems.