Atom-based analogues to electronic devices (Vol. 44 No. 6)

Spectral functions of the first (left panel) and the second (right panel) quantum dot.

New research gives a theoretical explanation as to how transport of single atoms that may be applied to optical lattices is made possible through a chain of quantum dots.

The authors have pushed back the boundaries of atom-based transport, creating a current by characterising the many-body effects in the transport of the atoms along a periodic lattice. This work has adopted a new analytical approach before comparing it to approximate numerical simulations, and is reported in the present paper.

Ultra-cold atoms trapped in optical potentials offer solutions for the transport of particles capable of producing a current. In this study, the authors extended previous single-atoms transport approaches to a model reflecting the many-body setting of bosonic atoms transport. Their challenge was to develop an analytical approach that allows particles to jump in and out and therefore produce a controlled current through the sample under study. They used a chain of quantum dots coupled to two bosonic reservoirs that keep the system far from equilibrium.

G. Ivanov, G. Kordas, A. Komnik and S. Wimberger, ‘Bosonic transport through a chain of quantum dots’, Eur. Phys. J. B, 86, 345 (2013)