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Title:Quantum Computation With Electron Spins of Phosphorous Donors in Silicon
Author(s):Fang, Angbo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Chang, Yia-Chung
Department / Program:Physics
Subject(s):Si:P Quantum Computer Architecture
Strained Silicon Quantum Well
Abstract:The discovery of efficient quantum algorithms a decade ago has shown that a quantum computer encoding and processing information quantum mechanically, can solve important problems intractable with conventional computers. The invention of quantum error correction principle, makes quantum computation possibly fault-tolerant against the decoherence of information carriers. Thereafter, intensive research activities have been made toward the implementation of quantum computation with various realistic quantum systems. Among them, the most attractive implementation proposals are using silicon-based materials, which have the advantage of borrowing the existing ingenuity and resources accumulated during the development of modern microelectronics. In this dissertation we investigate several theoretical aspects of a silicon- based quantum computer in which qubits are represented by the spins of electrons bound to phosphorous donors in silicon. Encoding each qubit in terms of three neighboring donor electron spins, we can realize universal quantum gate operations with only the Heisenberg exchange coupling J S1 •S2 between neighboring donors. Therefore, studying the exchange coupling for a phosphorous donor pair in silicon is of central importance for providing the experimentalists with qualitative insights and quantitative guidance for building such a silicon quantum computer. After giving some general considerations on the quantum computer architecture, we develop the necessary theoretical tools. A multi-valley effective mass equation is derived and discussed, to handle impurities in a multi-valley semiconductor. Then we apply it to solve a single Si:P donor embedded in our quantum computer architecture. We show that the width of the silicon quantum well can significantly influence the energy splitting and charge distributions of the ground state. Oscillation of level splitting is observed as the quantum well width or donor position is varied at atomic scale. Elementary gate operations for 3-donor-spin qubits involve a neighboring pair of donors at each step. The exchange coupling in Heisenberg model hamiltonian, defined as the energy splitting of the lowest singlet and triplet states, has to be calculated from the realistic two-donor hamiltonian. We discuss several popular methods to solve the two-donor problem and develop an appropriate extended Hartree-Fock method that can give reliable results for a well-separated donor pair subject to tunable coupling. This method is first applied to a Si:P donor pair in the framework of hydrogenic effective mass theory, to study how to tune the exchange coupling with simple gate potentials. A followed study shows that under a parallel electric field the singlet and triplet states exhibit very different polarization behaviors. This difference can be exploited to measure the state of an electron spin. We also show that, a perpendicular electric field cannot tune the exchange coupling efficiently. Then we apply the realistic multi-valley effective mass equation, coupled with a realistic modeling of the potential generated by gate electrodes, to a pair of phosphorous donors in silicon quantum well. By varying the gate electrode voltages, the exchange coupling can be tuned with exponential efficiency in a wide range. We find that, for best performance, we need to set the quantum well width to be around 10 nm, and the donor separation to be around 10 a∗ b---- 24nm in the doping plane. We analyze in detail an adiabatic half-swap operation between neighboring donor spins. The gate operation time is estimated to be 0.2 ns, which satisfies the constraints put by the donor spin decoherence time and by the validity of adiabatic approximation. The interference between different valley components could lead to oscillations of exchange coupling as donor positions are shifted by occasion. We find the exchange oscillation persists even with only two relevant valleys for donors in a strongly-strained silicon quantum well. It is also shown that the oscillation induced by changing donor separation at atomic scale is strongly suppressed as donors approach each other. Finally, we study the entanglement issue in quantum computing context. We analyze the low-energy Hilbert space for a pair of qubits encoded by localized electron spins and suggest a suitable measure to describe the entanglement between qubits involving indistinguishable electrons and in the presence of leakage errors. The dynamics of inter-qubit entanglement during a gate operation is also studied.
Issue Date:2005-10
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:©2005 Angbo Fang
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-10-12
Identifier in Online Catalog:5403465

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