Coherent time evolution of a single-electron wave function

M. Kataoka, M.R. Astley, A.L. Thorn, D.K.L. Oi, C.H.W. Barnes, C.J.B. Ford, D. Anderson, G.A.C. Jones, I. Farrer, D.A. Ritchie, M. Pepper

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Observation of coherent single-electron dynamics is severely limited by experimental bandwidth. We present a method to overcome this using moving quantum dots defined by surface acoustic waves. Each dot holds a single electron, and travels through a static potential landscape. When the dot passes abruptly between regions of different confinement, the electron is excited into a superposition of states, and oscillates unitarily from side to side. We detect these oscillations by using a weak, repeated measurement of the current across a tunnel barrier, and find close agreement with simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number156801
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2009


  • surface acoustic waves
  • quantum dots
  • computation
  • channel
  • states
  • spin


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