Abstract:
In analogy to the Coulomb and the Pauli spin blockade, based on the electrostatic repulsion and the Pauli exclusion principle respectively, the concept of valley blockade in Silicon nanostructures is explored. The valley parity operator is defined. Valley blockade is determined by the parity conservation of valley composition eigenvectors in quantum transport. A Silicon quantum changeover switch based on a triple of donor quantum dots capable to separate electrons having opposite valley parity by virtue of the valley parity conservation is proposed. The quantum changeover switch represents a novel kind of hybrid quantum based classical logic device.

Abstract:
We report on the valley blockade and the multielectron Kondo effect generated by an impurity atom in a silicon nano field effect device. According to the spin-valley nature of tunnelling processes, and consistently with those allowed by the valley blockade regime, the manifestation of Kondo effect obeys to the periodicity 4 of the electron filling sequence typical of silicon emerging at occupation N=1, 2, 3. The spin-valley Kondo effect emerges under different kinds of screening depending on the electron filling. By exploiting the valley blockade regime, valley index conservation in the Kondo SU(4) is deduced without the employment of an external magnetic field. Microwave irradiation suppresses the Kondo effect at occupancies up to three electrons.

Abstract:
Spin blockade occurs when an electron is unable to access an energetically favorable path through a quantum dot due to spin conservation, resulting in a blockade of the current through the dot. Spin blockade is the basis of a number of recent advances in spintronics, including the measurement and the manipulation of individual electron spins. We report measurements of the spin blockade regime in a silicon double quantum dot, revealing a complementary phenomenon: lifetime-enhanced transport. We argue that our observations arise because the decay times for electron spins in silicon are long, enabling the electron to maintain its spin throughout its transit across the quantum dot and access fast paths that exist in some spin channels but not in others. Such long spin lifetimes are important for applications such as quantum computation and, more generally, spintronics.

Abstract:
We analyze electron transport data through a Si/SiGe double quantum dot in terms of spin blockade and lifetime-enhanced transport (LET), which is transport through excited states that is enabled by long spin relaxation times. We present a series of low-bias voltage measurements showing the sudden appearance of a strong tail of current that we argue is an unambiguous signature of LET appearing when the bias voltage becomes greater than the singlet-triplet splitting for the (2,0) electron state. We present eight independent data sets, four in the forward bias (spin-blockade) regime and four in the reverse bias (lifetime-enhanced transport) regime, and show that all eight data sets can be fit to one consistent set of parameters. We also perform a detailed analysis of the reverse bias (LET) regime, using transport rate equations that include both singlet and triplet transport channels. The model also includes the energy dependent tunneling of electrons across the quantum barriers, and resonant and inelastic tunneling effects. In this way, we obtain excellent fits to the experimental data, and we obtain quantitative estimates for the tunneling rates and transport currents throughout the reverse bias regime. We provide a physical understanding of the different blockade regimes and present detailed predictions for the conditions under which LET may be observed.

Abstract:
Silicon quantum dots are a leading approach for solid-state quantum bits. However, developing this technology is complicated by the multi-valley nature of silicon. Here we observe transport of individual electrons in a silicon CMOS-based double quantum dot under electron spin resonance. An anticrossing of the driven dot energy levels is observed when the Zeeman and valley splittings coincide. A detected anticrossing splitting of 60 MHz is interpreted as a direct measure of spin and valley mixing, facilitated by spin-orbit interaction in the presence of non-ideal interfaces. A lower bound of spin dephasing time of 63 ns is extracted. We also describe a possible experimental evidence of an unconventional spin-valley blockade, despite the assumption of non-ideal interfaces. This understanding of silicon spin-valley physics should enable better control and read-out techniques for the spin qubits in an all CMOS silicon approach.

Abstract:
Electronic spins in Silicon (Si) are rising contenders for qubits -- the logical unit of quantum computation-- owing to its outstanding spin coherence properties and compatibility to standard electronics. A remarkable limitation for spin quantum computing in Si hosts is the orbital degeneracy of this material's conduction band, preventing the spin-1/2 states from being an isolated two-level system. So far available samples of Si quantum wells cladded by Ge-Si alloy barriers provide relatively small valley splitting (VS), with the order of 1 meV or less, degrading the fidelity of qubits encoded in spin "up" and "down" states in Si. Here, based on an atomically resolved pseudopotential theory, we demonstrate that ordered Ge-Si layered barriers confining a Si slab can be harnessed to enhance the VS in the active Si region by up to one order of magnitude compared to the random alloy barriers adopted so far. A biologically inspired genetic-algorithm search is employed to identify magic Ge/Si layer sequences of the superlattice barriers that isolate the electron ground state in a single valley composition with VS as large as ~9 meV. The enhanced VS is preserved with the reasonable inter-layer mixing between different species, and is interestingly "protected" even if some larger mixing occurs. Implementation of the optimized layer sequences of barriers, within reach of modern superlattice growth techniques, overcomes in a practical systematic way the main current limitations related to the orbital degeneracy, thus providing a roadmap for reliable spin-only quantum computing in Si.

Abstract:
We study the spin-valley Kondo effect of a silicon quantum dot occupied by $% \mathcal{N}$ electrons, with $\mathcal{N}$ up to four. We show that the Kondo resonance appears in the $\mathcal{N}=1,2,3$ Coulomb blockade regimes, but not in the $\mathcal{N}=4$ one, in contrast to the spin-1/2 Kondo effect, which only occurs at $\mathcal{N}=$ odd. Assuming large orbital level spacings, the energy states of the dot can be simply characterized by fourfold spin-valley degrees of freedom. The density of states (DOS) is obtained as a function of temperature and applied magnetic field using a finite-U equation-of-motion approach. The structure in the DOS can be detected in transport experiments. The Kondo resonance is split by the Zeeman splitting and valley splitting for double- and triple-electron Si dots, in a similar fashion to single-electron ones. The peak structure and splitting patterns are much richer for the spin-valley Kondo effect than for the pure spin Kondo effect.

Abstract:
Manipulation and readout of spin qubits in quantum dots made in III-V materials successfully rely on Pauli blockade that forbids transitions between spin-triplet and spin-singlet states. Quantum dots in group IV materials have the advantage of avoiding decoherence from the hyperfine interaction by purifying them with only zero-spin nuclei. Complications of group IV materials arise from the valley degeneracies in the electronic bandstructure. These lead to complicated multiplet states even for two-electron quantum dots thereby significantly weakening the selection rules for Pauli blockade. Only recently have spin qubits been realized in silicon devices where the valley degeneracy is lifted by strain and spatial confinement. In carbon nanotubes Pauli blockade can be observed by lifting valley degeneracy through disorder. In clean nanotubes, quantum dots have to be made ultra-small to obtain a large energy difference between the relevant multiplet states. Here we report on low-disorder nanotubes and demonstrate Pauli blockade based on both valley and spin selection rules. We exploit the bandgap of the nanotube to obtain a large level spacing and thereby a robust blockade. Single-electron spin resonance is detected using the blockade.

Abstract:
We report the dispersive readout of the spin state of a double quantum dot formed at the corner states of a silicon nanowire field-effect transistor. Two face-to-face top-gate electrodes allow us to independently tune the charge occupation of the quantum dot system down to the few-electron limit. We measure the charge stability of the double quantum dot in DC transport as well as dispersively via in-situ gate-based radio frequency reflectometry, where one top-gate electrode is connected to a resonator. The latter removes the need for external charge sensors in quantum computing architectures and provides a compact way to readout the dispersive shift caused by changes in the quantum capacitance during interdot charge transitions. Here, we observe Pauli spin-blockade in the high-frequency response of the circuit at finite magnetic fields between singlet and triplet states. The blockade is lifted at higher magnetic fields when intra-dot triplet states become the ground state configuration. A lineshape analysis of the dispersive phase shift reveals furthermore an intradot valley-orbit splitting $\Delta_{vo}$ of 145 $\mu$eV. Our results open up the possibility to operate compact CMOS technology as a singlet-triplet qubit and make split-gate silicon nanowire architectures an ideal candidate for the study of spin dynamics.

Abstract:
We present a theoretical study of the spin-valley blockade transport effect in a double quantum dot defined in a straight carbon nanotube. We find that intervalley scattering due to short-range impurities completely lifts the spin-valley blockade and induces a large leakage current in a certain confined range of the external magnetic field vector. This current hot spot emerges due to different effective magnetic fields acting on the spin-valley qubit states of the two quantum dots. Our predictions are compared to a recent measurement [F. Pei et al., Nat. Nanotech. 7, 630 (2012)]. We discuss the implications for blockade-based schemes for qubit initialization/readout, and motion sensing of nanotube-based mechanical resonators.