Elliptic flow splitting as a probe of the QCD phase structure at finite baryon chemical potential.
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Using a partonic transport model based on the 3-flavor Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model and a relativistic hadronic transport model to describe, respectively, the evolution of the initial partonic and the final hadronic phase of heavy-ion collisions at energies carried out in the beam-energy scan program of the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion collider, we study the effects of both the partonic and hadronic mean-field potentials on the elliptic flow of particles relative to that of their antiparticles. We find that to reproduce the measured relative elliptic flow differences between nucleons and antinucleons as well as between kaons and antikaons requires a vector coupling constant as large as 0.5-1.1 times the scalar coupling constant in the Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model. Implications of our results in understanding the QCD phase structure at finite baryon chemical potential are discussed.