A large repulsion between particles in a quantum system can lead to their localization, an effect responsible for the Mott insulator phases in strongly correlated materials. In a system with multiple orbitals, an orbital-selective Mott insulator can form, where electrons in some orbitals are predicted to localize while others remain itinerant. Here we demonstrate a more general version of this phenomenon by observing flavour-selective localization in an atom-based quantum simulator. Our experiment realizes Fermi-Hubbard models with an SU(3) symmetry that can be broken using a tunable coupling between flavours. We observe an enhancement of the localization associated with a selective Mott transition and the emergence of flavour-dependent correlations. Our realization of flavour-selective Mott physics demonstrates the potential of cold atoms to simulate interacting multicomponent materials such as superconductors and topological insulators.
- Pub Date:
- September 2022
- Condensed Matter - Quantum Gases;
- Condensed Matter - Strongly Correlated Electrons;
- Quantum Physics
- Main Text: 5 pages, 4 figures. Supplementary Material: 6 pages, 6 figures