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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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

Cite this

Kataoka, M., Astley, M. R., Thorn, A. L., Oi, D. K. L., Barnes, C. H. W., Ford, C. J. B., Anderson, D., Jones, G. A. C., Farrer, I., Ritchie, D. A., & Pepper, M. (2009). Coherent time evolution of a single-electron wave function. Physical Review Letters, 102(15), [156801 ].