Formation of stripes in a mixed-dimensional cold-atom Fermi-Hubbard system


The relation between d-wave superconductivity and stripes is fundamental to the understanding of ordered phases in cuprates. While experimentally both phases are found in close proximity, numerical studies on the related Fermi-Hubbard model have long been investigating whether stripes precede, compete or coexist with superconductivity. Such stripes are characterised by interleaved charge and spin density wave ordering where fluctuating lines of dopants separate domains of opposite antiferromagnetic order. Here we show first signatures of stripes in a cold-atom Fermi-Hubbard quantum simulator. By engineering a mixed-dimensional system, we increase their typical energy scales to the spin exchange energy, enabling us to access the interesting crossover temperature regime where stripes begin to form. We observe extended, attractive correlations between hole dopants and find an increased probability to form larger structures akin to stripes. In the spin sector, we study correlation functions up to third order and find results consistent with stripe formation. These higher-order correlation measurements pave the way towards an improved microscopic understanding of the emergent properties of stripes and their relation to other competing phases. More generally, our approach has direct relevance for newly discovered high-temperature superconducting materials in which mixed dimensions play an essential role.