Orbital Stark effect and quantum confinement transition of donors in silicon
Date of this Version10-2009
This document has been peer-reviewed.
Adiabatic shuttling of single impurity bound electrons to gate-induced surface states in semiconductors has attracted much attention in recent times, mostly in the context of solid-state quantum computer architecture. A recent transport spectroscopy experiment for the first time was able to probe the Stark shifted spectrum of a single donor in silicon buried close to a gate. Here, we present the full theoretical model involving large-scale quantum mechanical simulations that was used to compute the Stark shifted donor states in order to interpret the experimental data. Use of atomistic tight-binding technique on a domain of over a million atoms helped not only to incorporate the full band structure of the host, but also to treat realistic device geometries and donor models, and to use a large enough basis set to capture any number of donor states. The method yields a quantitative description of the symmetry transition that the donor electron undergoes from a three-dimensional Coulomb confined state to a two-dimensional (2D) surface state as the electric field is ramped up adiabatically. In the intermediate field regime, the electron resides in a superposition between the atomic donor states and the 2D surface states. In addition to determining the effect of field and donor depth on the electronic structure, the model also provides a basis to distinguish between a phosphorus and an arsenic donor based on their Stark signature. The method also captures valley-orbit splitting in both the donor well and the interface well, a quantity critical to silicon qubits. The work concludes with a detailed analysis of the effects of screening on the donor spectrum.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology