Publications by Ferdinand Kuemmeth – University of Copenhagen

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Center for Quantum Devices > Research > Publications > Ferdinand Kuemmeth

Publications by Ferdinand Kuemmeth

  • 2017
    • Negative spin exchange in a multielectron quantum dot - Abstract
      • By operating a one-electron quantum dot (fabricated between a multielectron dot and a one-electron reference dot) as a spectroscopic probe, we study the spin properties of a gate-controlled multielectron GaAs quantum dot at the transition between odd and even occupation number. We observe that the multielectron groundstate transitions from spin-1/2-like to singlet-like to triplet-like as we increase the detuning towards the next higher charge state. The sign reversal in the inferred exchange energy persists at zero magnetic field, and the exchange strength is tunable by gate voltages and in-plane magnetic fields. Complementing spin leakage spectroscopy data, the inspection of coherent multielectron spin exchange oscillations provides further evidence for the sign reversal and, inferentially, for the importance of non-trivial multielectron spin exchange correlations.
    • Frederico Martins, Filip K. Malinowski, Peter D. Nissen, Saeed Fallahi, Geoffrey C. Gardner, Michael J. Manfra, Charles M. Marcus, Ferdinand Kuemmeth
      1706.01007v1 [pdf]

    • Spectrum of the Nuclear Environment for GaAs Spin Qubits - Abstract
      • Using a singlet-triplet spin qubit as a sensitive spectrometer of the GaAs nuclear spin bath, we demonstrate that the spectrum of Overhauser noise agrees with a classical spin diffusion model over six orders of magnitude in frequency, from 1 mHz to 1 kHz, is flat below 10 mHz, and falls as $1/f^2$ for frequency $f \! \gtrsim \! 1$ Hz. Increasing the applied magnetic field from 0.1 T to 0.75 T suppresses electron-mediated spin diffusion, which decreases spectral content in the $1/f^2$ region and lowers the saturation frequency, each by an order of magnitude, consistent with a numerical model. Spectral content at megahertz frequencies is accessed using dynamical decoupling, which shows a crossover from the few-pulse regime ($\lesssim \! 16$ $\pi$-pulses), where transverse Overhauser fluctuations dominate dephasing, to the many-pulse regime ($\gtrsim \! 32$ $\pi$-pulses), where longitudinal Overhauser fluctuations with a $1/f$ spectrum dominate.
    • Filip K. Malinowski, Frederico Martins, Łukasz Cywiński, Mark S. Rudner, Peter D. Nissen, Saeed Fallahi, Geoffrey C. Gardner, Michael J. Manfra, Charles M. Marcus, Ferdinand Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 177702 (2017) [ 1701.01855v2 ]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.177702

    • Symmetric operation of the resonant exchange qubit - Abstract
      • We operate a resonant exchange qubit in a highly symmetric triple-dot configuration using IQ-modulated RF pulses. At the resulting three-dimensional sweet spot the qubit splitting is an order of magnitude less sensitive to all relevant control voltages, compared to the conventional operating point, but we observe no significant improvement in the quality of Rabi oscillations. For weak driving this is consistent with Overhauser field fluctuations modulating the qubit splitting. For strong driving we infer that effective voltage noise modulates the coupling strength between RF drive and the qubit, thereby quickening Rabi decay. Application of CPMG dynamical decoupling sequences consisting of up to n = 32 {\pi} pulses significantly prolongs qubit coherence, leading to marginally longer dephasing times in the symmetric configuration. This is consistent with dynamical decoupling from low frequency noise, but quantitatively cannot be explained by effective gate voltage noise and Overhauser field fluctuations alone. Our results inform recent strategies for the utilization of partial sweet spots in the operation and long-distance coupling of triple-dot qubits.
    • Filip K. Malinowski, Frederico Martins, Peter D. Nissen, Saeed Fallahi, Geoffrey C. Gardner, Michael J. Manfra, Charles M. Marcus, Ferdinand Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. B 96, 045443 (2017) [ 1704.01298v1 ]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.96.045443

    • Anharmonicity of a Gatemon Qubit with a Few-Mode Josephson Junction - Abstract
      • Coherent operation of gate-voltage-controlled hybrid transmon qubits (gatemons) based on semiconductor nanowires was recently demonstrated. Here we experimentally investigate the anharmonicity in epitaxial InAs-Al Josephson junctions, a key parameter for their use as a qubit. Anharmonicity is found to be reduced by roughly a factor of two compared to conventional metallic junctions, and dependent on gate voltage. Experimental results are consistent with a theoretical model, indicating that Josephson coupling is mediated by a small number of highly transmitting modes in the semiconductor junction.
    • A. Kringhøj, L. Casparis, M. Hell, T. W. Larsen, F. Kuemmeth, M. Leijnse, K. Flensberg, P. Krogstrup, J. Nygård, K. D. Petersson, C. M. Marcus
      1703.05643v1 [pdf]

    • Notch filtering the nuclear environment of a spin qubit - Abstract
      • Electron spins in gate-defined quantum dots provide a promising platform for quantum computation. In particular, spin-based quantum computing in gallium arsenide takes advantage of the high quality of semiconducting materials, reliability in fabricating arrays of quantum dots, and accurate qubit operations. However, the effective magnetic noise arising from the hyperfine interaction with uncontrolled nuclear spins in the host lattice constitutes a major source of decoherence. Low frequency nuclear noise, responsible for fast (10 ns) inhomogeneous dephasing, can be removed by echo techniques. High frequency nuclear noise, recently studied via echo revivals, occurs in narrow frequency bands related to differences in Larmor precession of the three isotopes $\mathbf{^{69}Ga}$, $\mathbf{^{71}Ga}$, and $\mathbf{^{75}As}$. Here we show that both low and high frequency nuclear noise can be filtered by appropriate dynamical decoupling sequences, resulting in a substantial enhancement of spin qubit coherence times. Using nuclear notch filtering, we demonstrate a spin coherence time ($\mathbf{T_{2}}$) of 0.87 ms, five orders of magnitude longer than typical exchange gate times, and exceeding the longest coherence times reported to date in Si/SiGe gate-defined quantum dots.
    • F. K. Malinowski, F. Martins, P. D. Nissen, E. Barnes, Ł. Cywiński, M. S. Rudner, S. Fallahi, G. C. Gardner, M. J. Manfra, C. M. Marcus, F. Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Nat. Nanotechnol. 12, 16-20 (2017) [ 1601.06677v3 ]
      DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.170

  • 2016
    • Transport Signatures of Quasiparticle Poisoning in a Majorana Island - Abstract
      • We investigate effects of quasiparticle poisoning in a Majorana island with strong tunnel coupling to normal-metal leads. In addition to the main Coulomb blockade diamonds, "shadow" diamonds appear, shifted by 1e in gate voltage, consistent with transport through an excited (poisoned) state of the island. Comparison to a simple model yields an estimate of parity lifetime for the strongly coupled island (~ 1 {\mu}s) and sets a bound for a weakly coupled island (> 10 {\mu}s). Fluctuations in the gate-voltage spacing of Coulomb peaks at high field, reflecting Majorana hybridization, are enhanced by the reduced lever arm at strong coupling. In energy units, fluctuations are consistent with previous measurements.
    • S. M. Albrecht, E. B. Hansen, A. P. Higginbotham, F. Kuemmeth, T. S. Jespersen, J. Nygård, P. Krogstrup, J. Danon, K. Flensberg, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 137701 (2017) [ 1612.05748v1 ]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.137701

    • Filter function formalism beyond pure dephasing and non-Markovian noise in singlet-triplet qubits - Abstract
      • The filter function formalism quantitatively describes the dephasing of a qubit by a bath that causes Gaussian fluctuations in the qubit energies with an arbitrary noise power spectrum. Here, we extend this formalism to account for more general types of noise that couple to the qubit through terms that do not commute with the qubit's bare Hamiltonian. Our approach applies to any power spectrum that generates slow noise fluctuations in the qubit's evolution. We demonstrate our formalism in the case of singlet-triplet qubits subject to both quasistatic nuclear noise and $1/\omega^\alpha$ charge noise and find good agreement with recent experimental findings. This comparison shows the efficacy of our approach in describing real systems and additionally highlights the challenges with distinguishing different types of noise in free induction decay experiments.
    • Edwin Barnes, Mark S. Rudner, Frederico Martins, Filip K. Malinowski, Charles M. Marcus, Ferdinand Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. B 93, 121407 (2016) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.121407

    • Exponential protection of zero modes in Majorana islands - Abstract
      • Majorana zero modes are quasiparticle excitations in condensed matter systems that have been proposed as building blocks of fault-tolerant quantum computers [1]. They are expected to exhibit non-Abelian particle statistics, in contrast to the usual statistics of fermions and bosons, enabling quantum operations to be performed by braiding isolated modes around one another. Quantum braiding operations are topologically protected insofar as these modes are pinned near zero energy, and the pinning is predicted to be exponential as the modes become spatially separated. Following theoretical proposals, several experiments have identified signatures of Majorana modes in proximitized nanowires and atomic chains, with small mode-splitting potentially explained by hybridization of Majoranas. Here, we use Coulomb-blockade spectroscopy in an InAs nanowire segment with epitaxial aluminum, which forms a proximity-induced superconducting Coulomb island (a Majorana island) that is isolated from normal-metal leads by tunnel barriers, to measure the splitting of near-zero-energy Majorana modes. We observe exponential suppression of energy splitting with increasing wire length. For short devices of a few hundred nanometers, sub-gap state energies oscillate as the magnetic field is varied, as is expected for hybridized Majorana modes. Splitting decreases by a factor of about ten for each half micrometer of increased wire length. For devices longer than about one micrometer, transport in strong magnetic fields occurs through a zero-energy state that is energetically isolated from a continuum, yielding uniformly spaced Coulomb-blockade conductance peaks, consistent with teleportation via Majorana modes. Our results help explain the trivial-to-topological transition in finite systems and to quantify the scaling of topological protection with end-mode separation.
    • S. M. Albrecht, A. P. Higginbotham, M. Madsen, F. Kuemmeth, T. S. Jespersen, J. Nygård, P. Krogstrup, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Nature 531, 206 (2016) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nature17162

    • Noise Suppression Using Symmetric Exchange Gates in Spin Qubits - Abstract
      • We demonstrate a substantial improvement in the spin-exchange gate using symmetric control instead of conventional detuning in GaAs spin qubits, up to a factor-of-six increase in the quality factor of the gate. For symmetric operation, nanosecond voltage pulses are applied to the barrier that controls the interdot potential between quantum dots, modulating the exchange interaction while maintaining symmetry between the dots. Excellent agreement is found with a model that separately includes electrical and nuclear noise sources for both detuning and symmetric gating schemes. Unlike exchange control via detuning, the decoherence of symmetric exchange rotations is dominated by rotation-axis fluctuations due to nuclear field noise rather than direct exchange noise.
    • Frederico Martins, Filip K. Malinowski, Peter D. Nissen, Edwin Barnes, Saeed Fallahi, Geoffrey C. Gardner, Michael J. Manfra, Charles M. Marcus, Ferdinand Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 116801 (2016) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.116801

  • 2015
    • Gatemon Benchmarking and Two-Qubit Operations - Abstract
      • Recent experiments have demonstrated superconducting transmon qubits with semiconductor nanowire Josephson junctions. These hybrid gatemon qubits utilize field effect tunability characteristic for semiconductors to allow complete qubit control using gate voltages, potentially a technological advantage over conventional flux-controlled transmons. Here, we present experiments with a two-qubit gatemon circuit. We characterize qubit coherence and stability and use randomized benchmarking to demonstrate single-qubit gate errors below 0.7% for all gates, including voltage-controlled $Z$ rotations. We show coherent capacitive coupling between two gatemons and coherent swap operations. Finally, we perform a two-qubit controlled-phase gate with an estimated fidelity of 91%, demonstrating the potential of gatemon qubits for building scalable quantum processors.
    • L. Casparis, T. W. Larsen, M. S. Olsen, F. Kuemmeth, P. Krogstrup, J. Nygård, K. D. Petersson, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 150505 (2016) [ 1512.09195v1 ]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.150505

    • Quantum transport in carbon nanotubes - Abstract
      • Carbon nanotubes are a versatile material in which many aspects of condensed matter physics come together. Recent discoveries, enabled by sophisticated fabrication, have uncovered new phenomena that completely change our understanding of transport in these devices, especially the role of the spin and valley degrees of freedom. This review describes the modern understanding of transport through nanotube devices. Unlike conventional semiconductors, electrons in nanotubes have two angular momentum quantum numbers, arising from spin and from valley freedom. We focus on the interplay between the two. In single quantum dots defined in short lengths of nanotube, the energy levels associated with each degree of freedom, and the spin-orbit coupling between them, are revealed by Coulomb blockade spectroscopy. In double quantum dots, the combination of quantum numbers modifies the selection rules of Pauli blockade. This can be exploited to read out spin and valley qubits, and to measure the decay of these states through coupling to nuclear spins and phonons. A second unique property of carbon nanotubes is that the combination of valley freedom and electron-electron interactions in one dimension strongly modifies their transport behaviour. Interaction between electrons inside and outside a quantum dot is manifested in SU(4) Kondo behavior and level renormalization. Interaction within a dot leads to Wigner molecules and more complex correlated states. This review takes an experimental perspective informed by recent advances in theory. As well as the well-understood overall picture, we also state clearly open questions for the field. These advances position nanotubes as a leading system for the study of spin and valley physics in one dimension where electronic disorder and hyperfine interaction can both be reduced to a very low level.
    • E. A. Laird, F. Kuemmeth, G. Steele, K. Grove-Rasmussen, J. Nygård, K. Flensberg, L. P. Kouwenhoven
      Journal reference: Rev. Mod. Phys. 87, 703 (2015) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.87.703

    • Semiconductor-Nanowire-Based Superconducting Qubit - Abstract
      • We introduce a hybrid qubit based on a semiconductor nanowire with an epitaxially grown superconductor layer. Josephson energy of the transmon-like device ("gatemon") is controlled by an electrostatic gate that depletes carriers in a semiconducting weak link region. Strong coupling to an on-chip microwave cavity and coherent qubit control via gate voltage pulses is demonstrated, yielding reasonably long relaxation times (0.8 {\mu}s) and dephasing times (1 {\mu}s), exceeding gate operation times by two orders of magnitude, in these first-generation devices. Because qubit control relies on voltages rather than fluxes, dissipation in resistive control lines is reduced, screening reduces crosstalk, and the absence of flux control allows operation in a magnetic field, relevant for topological quantum information.
    • T. W. Larsen, K. D. Petersson, F. Kuemmeth, T. S. Jespersen, P. Krogstrup, J. Nygard, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 127001 (2015) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.127001

    • Hard gap in epitaxial semiconductor–superconductor nanowires - Abstract
      • Many present and future applications of superconductivity would benefit from electrostatic control of carrier density and tunneling rates, the hallmark of semiconductor devices. One particularly exciting application is the realization of topological superconductivity as a basis for quantum information processing. Proposals in this direction based on proximity effect in semiconductor nanowires are appealing because the key ingredients are currently in hand. However, previous instances of proximitized semiconductors show significant tunneling conductance below the superconducting gap, suggesting a continuum of subgap states---a situation that nullifies topological protection. Here, we report a hard superconducting gap induced by proximity effect in a semiconductor, using epitaxial Al-InAs superconductor-semiconductor nanowires. The hard gap, along with favorable material properties and gate-tunability, makes this new hybrid system attractive for a number of applications, as well as fundamental studies of mesoscopic superconductivity.
    • W. Chang, S. M. Albrecht, T. S. Jespersen, F. Kuemmeth, P. Krogstrup, J. Nygård, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Nature Nanotechnology 10, 232 (2015) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.306

    • Parity lifetime of bound states in a proximitized semiconductor nanowire - Abstract
      • Quasiparticle excitations can compromise the performance of superconducting devices, causing high frequency dissipation, decoherence in Josephson qubits, and braiding errors in proposed Majorana-based topological quantum computers. Quasiparticle dynamics have been studied in detail in metallic superconductors but remain relatively unexplored in semiconductor-superconductor structures, which are now being intensely pursued in the context of topological superconductivity. To this end, we introduce a new physical system comprised of a gate-confined semiconductor nanowire with an epitaxially grown superconductor layer, yielding an isolated, proximitized nanowire segment. We identify Andreev-like bound states in the semiconductor via bias spectroscopy, determine the characteristic temperatures and magnetic fields for quasiparticle excitations, and extract a parity lifetime (poisoning time) of the bound state in the semiconductor exceeding 10 ms.
    • A. P. Higginbotham, S. M. Albrecht, G. Kirsanskas, W. Chang, F. Kuemmeth, P. Krogstrup, T. S. Jespersen, J. Nygard, K. Flensberg, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Nature Physics 11, 1017 (2015) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nphys3461

  • 2014
    • Hole Spin Coherence in a Ge/Si Heterostructure Nanowire - Abstract
      • Relaxation and dephasing of hole spins are measured in a gate-defined Ge/Si nanowire double quantum dot using a fast pulsed-gate method and dispersive readout. An inhomogeneous dephasing time $T_2^* \sim 0.18~\mathrm{\mu s}$ exceeds corresponding measurements in III-V semiconductors by more than an order of magnitude, as expected for predominately nuclear-spin-free materials. Dephasing is observed to be exponential in time, indicating the presence of a broadband noise source, rather than Gaussian, previously seen in systems with nuclear-spin-dominated dephasing.
    • A. P. Higginbotham, T. W. Larsen, J. Yao, H. Yan, C. M. Lieber, C. M. Marcus, F. Kuemmeth
      Journal reference: Nano Letters 14, 3582 (2014) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1021/nl501242b

    • Antilocalization of Coulomb Blockade in a Ge/Si Nanowire - Abstract
      • The distribution of Coulomb blockade peak heights as a function of magnetic field is investigated experimentally in a Ge-Si nanowire quantum dot. Strong spin-orbit coupling in this hole-gas system leads to antilocalization of Coulomb blockade peaks, consistent with theory. In particular, the peak height distribution has its maximum away from zero at zero magnetic field, with an average that decreases with increasing field. Magnetoconductance in the open-wire regime places a bound on the spin-orbit length ($l_{so}$ < 20 nm), consistent with values extracted in the Coulomb blockade regime ($l_{so}$ < 25 nm).
    • A. P. Higginbotham, F. Kuemmeth, T. W. Larsen, M. Fitzpatrick, J. Yao, H. Yan, C. M. Lieber, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 216806 (2014) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.216806

  • 2013
    • Coherent Operations and Screening in Multielectron Spin Qubits - Abstract
      • The performance of multi-electron spin qubits is examined by comparing exchange oscillations in coupled single-electron and multi-electron quantum dots in the same device. Fast (> 1 GHz) exchange oscillations with a quality factor Q > 15 are found for the multi-electron case, compared to Q ~ 2 for the single-electron case, the latter consistent with previous experiments. A model of dephasing that includes voltage and hyperfine noise is developed that is in good agreement with both single- and multi-electron data, though in both cases additional exchange-independent dephasing is needed to obtain quantitative agreement across a broad parameter range.
    • A. P. Higginbotham, F. Kuemmeth, M. P. Hanson, A. C. Gossard, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 026801 (2014) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.026801

    • Observation and spectroscopy of a two-electron Wigner molecule in an ultraclean carbon nanotube - Abstract
      • Coulomb interactions can have a decisive effect on the ground state of electronic systems. The simplest system in which interactions can play an interesting role is that of two electrons on a string. In the presence of strong interactions the two electrons are predicted to form a Wigner molecule, separating to the ends of the string due to their mutual repulsion. This spatial structure is believed to be clearly imprinted on the energy spectrum, yet to date a direct measurement of such a spectrum in a controllable one-dimensional setting is still missing. Here we use an ultra-clean suspended carbon nanotube to realize this system in a tunable potential. Using tunneling spectroscopy we measure the excitation spectra of two interacting carriers, electrons or holes, and identify seven low-energy states characterized by their spin and isospin quantum numbers. These states fall into two multiplets according to their exchange symmetries. The formation of a strongly-interacting Wigner molecule is evident from the small energy splitting measured between the two multiplets, that is quenched by an order of magnitude compared to the non-interacting value. Our ability to tune the two-electron state in space and to study it for both electrons and holes provides an unambiguous demonstration of the fundamental Wigner molecule state.
    • S. Pecker, F. Kuemmeth, A. Secchi, M. Rontani, D. C. Ralph, P. L. McEuen, S. Ilani
      Journal reference: Nature Physics 9, 576-581 (2013) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nphys2692

  • 2011
    • Hole spin relaxation in Ge–Si core–shell nanowire qubits - Abstract
      • Controlling decoherence is the most challenging task in realizing quantum information hardware. Single electron spins in gallium arsenide are a leading candidate among solid- state implementations, however strong coupling to nuclear spins in the substrate hinders this approach. To realize spin qubits in a nuclear-spin-free system, intensive studies based on group-IV semiconductor are being pursued. In this case, the challenge is primarily control of materials and interfaces, and device nanofabrication. We report important steps toward implementing spin qubits in a predominantly nuclear-spin-free system by demonstrating state preparation, pulsed gate control, and charge-sensing spin readout of confined hole spins in a one-dimensional Ge/Si nanowire. With fast gating, we measure T1 spin relaxation times in coupled quantum dots approaching 1 ms, increasing with lower magnetic field, consistent with a spin-orbit mechanism that is usually masked by hyperfine contributions.
    • Yongjie Hu, Ferdinand Kuemmeth, Charles M. Lieber, Charles M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Nature Nanotechnology 7, 47--50 (2012) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.234

  • 2010
    • Spin-orbit effects in carbon-nanotube double quantum dots - Abstract
      • We study the energy spectrum of symmetric double quantum dots in narrow-gap carbon nanotubes with one and two electrostatically confined electrons in the presence of spin-orbit and Coulomb interactions. Compared to GaAs quantum dots, the spectrum exhibits a much richer structure because of the spin-orbit interaction that couples the electron's isospin to its real spin through two independent coupling constants. In a single dot, both constants combine to split the spectrum into two Kramers doublets, while the antisymmetric constant solely controls the difference in the tunneling rates of the Kramers doublets between the dots. For the two-electron regime, the detailed structure of the spin-orbit split energy spectrum is investigated as a function of detuning between the quantum dots in a 22-dimensional Hilbert space within the framework of a single-longitudinal-mode model. We find a competing effect of the tunneling and Coulomb interaction. The former favors a left-right symmetric two-particle ground state, while in the regime where the Coulomb interaction dominates over tunneling, a left-right antisymmetric ground state is found. As a result, ground states on both sides of the $(11)$-$(02)$ degeneracy point may possess opposite left-right symmetry, and the electron dynamics when tuning the system from one side of the $(11)$-$(02)$ degeneracy point to the other is controlled by three selection rules (in spin, isospin, and left-right symmetry). We discuss implications for the spin-dephasing and Pauli blockade experiments.
    • S. Weiss, E. I. Rashba, F. Kuemmeth, H. O. H Churchill, K. Flensberg
      Journal reference: Physical Review B 82, 165427 (2010) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.165427

  • 2009
    • Giant spin rotation under quasiparticle-photoelectron conversion: Joint effect of sublattice interference and spin-orbit coupling - Abstract
      • Spin- and angular-resolved photoemission spectroscopy is a basic experimental tool for unveiling spin polarization of electron eigenstates in crystals. We prove, by using spin-orbit coupled graphene as a model, that photoconversion of a quasiparticle inside a crystal into a photoelectron can be accompanied with a dramatic change in its spin polarization, up to a total spin flip. This phenomenon is typical of quasiparticles residing away from the Brillouin zone center and described by higher rank spinors, and results in exotic patterns in the angular distribution of photoelectrons.
    • Ferdinand Kuemmeth, Emmanuel I. Rashba
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. B 80, 241409 (2009) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.80.241409

    • Carbon nanotubes for coherent spintronics - Abstract
      • Carbon nanotubes bridge the molecular and crystalline quantum worlds, and their extraordinary electronic, mechanical and optical properties have attracted enormous attention from a broad scientific community. We review the basic principles of fabricating spin-electronic devices based on individual, electrically-gated carbon nanotubes, and present experimental efforts to understand their electronic and nuclear spin degrees of freedom, which in the future may enable quantum applications.
    • F. Kuemmeth, H. O. H. Churchill, P. K. Herring, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Materials Today 13, 18 (2010) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(10)70030-4

  • 2008
    • Measurement of Discrete Energy-Level Spectra in Individual Chemically Synthesized Gold Nanoparticles - Abstract
      • We form single-electron transistors from individual chemically-synthesized gold nanoparticles, 5-15 nm in diameter, with monolayers of organic molecules serving as tunnel barriers. These devices allow us to measure the discrete electronic energy levels of individual gold nanoparticles that are, by virtue of chemical synthesis, well-defined in their composition, size and shape. We show that the nanoparticles are non-magnetic and have spectra in good accord with random-matrix-theory predictions taking into account strong spin-orbit coupling.
    • F. Kuemmeth, K. I. Bolotin, S. -F. Shi, D. C. Ralph
      Journal reference: Nano Lett., 8 (12), 4506-4512 (2008) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1021/nl802473n

    • Electron–nuclear interaction in 13C nanotube double quantum dots - Abstract
      • For coherent electron spins, hyperfine coupling to nuclei in the host material can either be a dominant source of unwanted spin decoherence or, if controlled effectively, a resource allowing storage and retrieval of quantum information. To investigate the effect of a controllable nuclear environment on the evolution of confined electron spins, we have fabricated and measured gate-defined double quantum dots with integrated charge sensors made from single-walled carbon nanotubes with a variable concentration of 13C (nuclear spin I=1/2) among the majority zero-nuclear-spin 12C atoms. Spin-sensitive transport in double-dot devices grown using methane with the natural abundance (~ 1%) of 13C is compared with similar devices grown using an enhanced (~99%) concentration of 13C. We observe strong isotope effects in spin-blockaded transport, and from the dependence on external magnetic field, estimate the hyperfine coupling in 13C nanotubes to be on the order of 100 micro-eV, two orders of magnitude larger than anticipated theoretically. 13C-enhanced nanotubes are an interesting new system for spin-based quantum information processing and memory, with nuclei that are strongly coupled to gate-controlled electrons, differ from nuclei in the substrate, are naturally confined to one dimension, lack quadrupolar coupling, and have a readily controllable concentration from less than one to 10^5 per electron.
    • H. O. H. Churchill, A. J. Bestwick, J. W. Harlow, F. Kuemmeth, D. Marcos, C. H. Stwertka, S. K. Watson, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Nature Physics 5, 321 (2009) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nphys1247

    • Relaxation and Dephasing in a Two-electron 13C Nanotube Double Quantum Dot - Abstract
      • We use charge sensing of Pauli blockade (including spin and isospin) in a two-electron 13C nanotube double quantum dot to measure relaxation and dephasing times. The relaxation time, T1, first decreases with parallel magnetic field then goes through a minimum in a field of 1.4 T. We attribute both results to the spin-orbit-modified electronic spectrum of carbon nanotubes, which suppresses hyperfine mediated relaxation and enhances relaxation due to soft phonons. The inhomogeneous dephasing time, T2*, is consistent with previous data on hyperfine coupling strength in 13C nanotubes.
    • H. O. H. Churchill, F. Kuemmeth, J. W. Harlow, A. J. Bestwick, E. I. Rashba, K. Flensberg, C. H. Stwertka, T. Taychatanapat, S. K. Watson, C. M. Marcus
      Journal reference: Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 166802 (2009). [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.166802

    • Coupling of spin and orbital motion of electrons in carbon nanotubes - Abstract
      • Electrons in atoms possess both spin and orbital degrees of freedom. In non-relativistic quantum mechanics, these are independent, resulting in large degeneracies in atomic spectra. However, relativistic effects couple the spin and orbital motion leading to the well-known fine structure in their spectra. The electronic states in defect-free carbon nanotubes (NTs) are widely believed to be four-fold degenerate, due to independent spin and orbital symmetries, and to also possess electron-hole symmetry. Here we report measurements demonstrating that in clean NTs the spin and orbital motion of electrons are coupled, thereby breaking all of these symmetries. This spin-orbit coupling is directly observed as a splitting of the four-fold degeneracy of a single electron in ultra-clean quantum dots. The coupling favours parallel alignment of the orbital and spin magnetic moments for electrons and anti-parallel alignment for holes. Our measurements are consistent with recent theories that predict the existence of spin-orbit coupling in curved graphene and describe it as a spin-dependent topological phase in NTs. Our findings have important implications for spin-based applications in carbon-based systems, entailing new design principles for the realization of qubits in NTs and providing a mechanism for all-electrical control of spins in NTs.
    • F. Kuemmeth, S. Ilani, D. C. Ralph, P. L. McEuen
      Journal reference: Nature 452, 448-452 (27 March 2008) [pdf]
      DOI: 10.1038/nature06822

  • 2006
    • Anisotropic Magnetoresistance and Anisotropic Tunneling Magnetoresistance due to Quantum Interference in Ferromagnetic Metal Break Junctions - Abstract
      • We measure the low-temperature resistance of permalloy break junctions as a function of contact size and the magnetic field angle, in applied fields large enough to saturate the magnetization. For both nanometer-scale metallic contacts and tunneling devices we observe large changes in resistance with angle, as large as 25% in the tunneling regime. The pattern of magnetoresistance is sensitive to changes in bias on a scale of a few mV. We interpret the effect as a consequence of conductance fluctuations due to quantum interference.
    • Kirill I. Bolotin, Ferdinand Kuemmeth, D. C. Ralph
      Journal reference: Physical Review Letters 97, 127202 (2006) [ cond-mat/0602251v2 ]
      DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.127202

  • 2005
    • From Ballistic Transport to Tunneling in Electromigrated Ferromagnetic Breakjunctions - Abstract
      • We fabricate ferromagnetic nanowires with constrictions whose cross section can be reduced gradually from 100 nm to the atomic scale and eventually to the tunneling regime by means of electromigration. These devices are mechanically stable against magnetostriction and magnetostatic effects. We measure magnetoresistances ~ 0.3% for 100*30 nm^2 constrictions, increasing to a maximum of 80% for atomic-scale widths. These results are consistent with a geometrically-constrained domain wall trapped at the constriction. For the devices in the tunneling regime we observe large fluctuations in MR, between -10 and 85%.
    • Kirill I. Bolotin, F. Kuemmeth, Abhay N. Pasupathy, D. C. Ralph
      Journal reference: Nano Letters 6, 123-127 (2006) [ cond-mat/0510410v1 ]
      DOI: 10.1021/nl0522936

  • 2003
    • Metal-nanoparticle single-electron transistors fabricated using electromigration - Abstract
      • We have fabricated single-electron transistors from individual metal nanoparticles using a geometry that provides improved coupling between the particle and the gate electrode. This is accomplished by incorporating a nanoparticle into a gap created between two electrodes using electromigration, all on top of an oxidized aluminum gate. We achieve sufficient gate coupling to access more than ten charge states of individual gold nanoparticles (5-15 nm in diameter). The devices are sufficiently stable to permit spectroscopic studies of the electron-in-a-box level spectra within the nanoparticle as its charge state is varied.
    • K. I. Bolotin, F. Kuemmeth, A. N. Pasupathy, D. C. Ralph
      Journal reference: K.I. Bolotin et al, APL 84, 3154 (2004) [ cond-mat/0310594v1 ]
      DOI: 10.1063/1.1695203