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Quantum transport in carbon nanotubes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • E A Laird
  • F Kuemmeth
  • G. A. Steele
  • K Grove-Rasmussen
  • J Nygård
  • K. Flensberg
  • L. P. Kouwenhoven
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/07/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Reviews of Modern Physics
Issue number3
Number of pages62
Pages (from-to)703-764
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Carbon nanotubes are a versatile material in which many aspects of condensed matter physics come together. Recent discoveries 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 in conventional semiconductors, electrons in nanotubes have two angular momentum quantum numbers, arising from spin and valley freedom. The interplay between the two is the focus of this review. The energy levels associated with each degree of freedom, and the spin-orbit coupling between them, are explained, together with their consequences for transport measurements through nanotube quantum dots. 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 behavior. 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, open questions for the field are also clearly stated. 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 low level.