Close to charge neutrality, the electronic properties of graphene and its multilayers are sensitive to electron-electron interactions. In bilayers, for instance, interactions are predicted to open a gap between valence and conduction bands, turning the system into an insulator. In mono and (Bernal-stacked) trilayers, which remain conducting at low temperature, interactions do not have equally drastic consequences. It is expected that interaction effects become weaker for thicker multilayers, whose behaviour should converge to that of graphite. Here we show that this expectation does not correspond to reality by revealing the occurrence of an insulating state close to charge neutrality in Bernal-stacked tetralayer graphene. The phenomenology - incompatible with the behaviour expected from the single-particle band structure - resembles that observed in bilayers, but the insulating state in tetralayers is visible at higher temperature. We explain our findings, and the systematic even-odd effect of interactions in Bernal-stacked layers of different thickness that emerges from experiments, in terms of a generalization of the interaction-driven, symmetry-broken states proposed for bilayers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)