Exchange and superexchange interactions in quantum dot systems

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Virginia Tech


Semiconductor quantum dot systems offer a promising platform for quantum computation. And these quantum computation candidates are normally based on spin or charge properties of electrons. In these systems, we focus on quantum computation based on electron spins since these systems has good scalability, long coherence times, and rapid gate operations. And this thesis focuses on building a theoretical description of quantum dot systems and the link between theory and experiments.

In many quantum dot systems, exchange interactions are the primary mechanism used to control spins and generate entanglement. And exchange energies are normally positive, which limits control flexibility. However, recent experiments show that negative exchange interactions can arise in a linear three-dot system when a two-electron double quantum dot is exchange coupled to a larger quantum dot containing on the order of one hundred electrons. The origin of this negative exchange can be traced to the larger quantum dot exhibiting a spin triplet-like rather than singlet-like ground state. Here we show using a microscopic model based on the configuration interaction (CI) method that both triplet-like and singlet-like ground states are realized depending on the number of electrons. In the case of only four electrons, a full CI calculation reveals that triplet-like ground states occur for sufficiently large dots. These results hold for symmetric and asymmetric quantum dots in both Si and GaAs, showing that negative exchange interactions are robust in few-electron double quantum dots and do not require large numbers of electrons.

Recent experiments also show the potential to utilize large quantum dots to mediate superexchange interaction and generate entanglement between distant spins. This opens up a possible mechanism for selectively coupling pairs of remote spins in a larger network of quantum dots. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires a deeper understanding of how to control superexchange interactions in these systems. Here, we consider a triple-dot system arranged in linear and triangular geometries. We use CI calculations to investigate the interplay of superexchange and nearest-neighbor exchange interactions as the location, detuning, and electron number of the mediating dot are varied. We show that superexchange processes strongly enhance and increase the range of the net spin-spin exchange as the dots approach a linear configuration. Furthermore, we show that the strength of the exchange interaction depends sensitively on the number of electrons in the mediator. Our results can be used as a guide to assist further experimental efforts towards scaling up to larger, two-dimensional quantum dot arrays.



Quantum Computing, Quantum Dots, Spin Qubits, Exchange Interaction, Superexchange, Configuration Interaction, Hubbard Model, Hund's Rule