화학공학소재연구정보센터
Nature, Vol.502, No.7473, 659-663, 2013
Minimal-excitation states for electron quantum optics using levitons
The on-demand generation of pure quantum excitations is important for the operation of quantum systems, but it is particularly difficult for a system of fermions. This is because any perturbation affects all states below the Fermi energy, resulting in a complex superposition of particle and hole excitations. However, it was predicted nearly 20 years ago(1-3) that a Lorentzian time-dependent potential with quantized flux generates a minimal excitation with only one particle and no hole. Here we report that such quasiparticles (hereafter termed levitons) can be generated on demand in a conductor by applying voltage pulses to a contact. Partitioning the excitations with an electronic beam splitter generates a current noise that we use to measure their number. Minimal-excitation states are observed for Lorentzian pulses, whereas for other pulse shapes there are significant contributions from holes. Further identification of levitons is provided in the energy domain with shot-noise spectroscopy, and in the time domain with electronic Hong-Ou-Mandel noise correlations(4-8). The latter, obtained by colliding synchronized levitons on a beam splitter, exemplifies the potential use of levitons for quantum information: using linear electron quantum optics(9) in ballistic conductors, it is possible to imagine flying-qubit(10,11) operation in which the Fermi statistics are exploited(12-14) to entangle synchronized electrons emitted by distinct sources(15-18). Compared with electron sources based on quantum dots(19-21), the generation of levitons does not require delicate nanolithography, considerably simplifying the circuitry for scalability. Levitons are not limited to carrying a single charge, and so in a broader context n-particle levitons could find application in the study of full electron counting statistics(22-25). But they can also carry a fraction of charge if they are implemented in Luttinger liquids(3) or in fractional quantum Hall edge channels(26); this allows the study of Abelian and non-Abelian quasiparticles in the time domain. Finally, the generation technique could be applied to cold atomic gases(27,28), leading to the possibility of atomic levitons.