Electrical current through individual pairs of phosphorus donor atoms and silicon dangling bonds

Result date: 01/01/2016
Author: K. Ambal,
Publication: Scientific Reports,
Instrument: Low Temperature SPM
Nuclear spins of phosphorus [P] donor atoms in crystalline silicon are among the most coherent qubits found in nature. For their utilization in scalable quantum computers, distinct donor electron wavefunctions must be controlled and probed through electrical coupling by application of either highly localized electric fields or spin-selective currents. Due to the strong modulation of the P-donor wavefunction by the silicon lattice, such electrical coupling requires atomic spatial accuracy. Here, the spatially controlled application of electrical current through individual pairs of phosphorus donor electron states in crystalline silicon and silicon dangling bond states at the crystalline silicon (100) surface is demonstrated using a high-resolution scanning probe microscope operated under ultra-high vacuum and at a temperature of 4.3K. The observed pairs of electron states display qualitatively reproducible current-voltage characteristics with a monotonous increase and intermediate current plateaus.