Transport signatures of Majorana quantum criticality realized by dissipative resonant tunneling

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We consider theoretically the transport properties of a spinless resonant electronic level coupled to strongly dissipative leads, in the regime of circuit impedance near the resistance quantum. Using the Luttinger liquid analogy, one obtains an effective Hamiltonian expressed in terms of interacting Majorana fermions, in which all environmental degrees of freedom (leads and electromagnetic modes) are encapsulated in a single fermionic bath. General transport equations for this system are then derived in terms of the Majorana T-matrix. A perturbative treatment of the Majorana interaction term yields the appearance of a marginal, linear dependence of the conductance on temperature when the system is tuned to its quantum critical point, in agreement with recent experimental observations. We investigate in detail the different crossovers involved in the problem, and analyze the role of the interaction terms in the transport scaling functions. In particular, we show that single barrier scaling applies when the system is slightly tuned away from its Majorana critical point, strengthening the general picture of dynamical Coulomb blockade. © 2014 American Physical Society.





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Zheng, H, S Florens and HU Baranger (2014). Transport signatures of Majorana quantum criticality realized by dissipative resonant tunneling. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 89(23). 10.1103/PhysRevB.89.235135 Retrieved from

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Harold U. Baranger

Professor of Physics

The broad focus of Prof. Baranger's group is quantum open systems at the nanoscale, particularly the generation of correlation between particles in such systems. Fundamental interest in nanophysics-- the physics of small, nanometer scale, bits of solid-- stems from the ability to control and probe systems on length scales larger than atoms but small enough that the averaging inherent in bulk properties has not yet occurred. Using this ability, entirely unanticipated phenomena can be uncovered on the one hand, and the microscopic basis of bulk phenomena can be probed on the other. Additional interest comes from the many links between nanophysics and nanotechnology. Within this thematic area, our work ranges from projects trying to nail down realistic behavior in well-characterized systems, to more speculative projects reaching beyond regimes investigated experimentally to date.

Correlations between particles are a central issue in many areas of condensed matter physics, from emergent many-body phenomena in complex materials, to strong matter-light interactions in quantum information contexts, to transport properties of single molecules. Such correlations, for either electrons or bosons (photons, plasmons, phonons,…), underlie key phenomena in nanostructures. Using the exquisite control of nanostructures now possible, experimentalists will be able to engineer correlations in nanosystems in the near future. Of particular interest are cases in which one can tune the competition between different types of correlation, or in which correlation can be tunably enhanced or suppressed by other effects (such as confinement or interference), potentially causing a quantum phase transition-- a sudden, qualitative change in the correlations in the system.

My recent work has addressed correlations in both electronic systems (quantum wires and dots) and photonic systems (photon waveguides). We have focused on 3 different systems: (1) qubits coupled to a photonic waveguide, (2) quantum dots in a dissipative environment, and (3) interfaces between graphene and a superconductor, particularly when graphene is in the quantum Hall state. The methods used are both analytical and numerical, and are closely linked to experiments.

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