Chapter

Electron Spin Resonance and Related Phenomena in Low-Dimensional Structures

Volume 115 of the series Topics in Applied Physics pp 101-127

Si/SiGe Quantum Devices, Quantum Wells, and Electron-Spin Coherence

  • J. L. TruittAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
  • , K. A. SlinkerAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
  • , K. L. M. LewisAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
  • , D. E. SavageAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
  • , Charles TahanAffiliated withCavendish Laboratory
  • , L. J. KleinAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
  • , J. O. ChuAffiliated withIBM Research Division, T.J. Watson Research Center
  • , P. M. MooneyAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Simon Fraser University
  • , A. M. TyryshkinAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University
    • , D. W. van der WeideAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin
    • , Robert JoyntAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
    • , S. N. CoppersmithAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
    • , Mark FriesenAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin
    • , M. A. ErikssonAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Wisconsin

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Abstract

Silicon quantum devices have progressed rapidly over the past decade, driven by recent interest in spintronics and quantum computing. Spin coherence has emerged as a leading indicator of suitable devices for quantum applications. In particular, the technique of electron-spin resonance (ESR) has proven powerful and flexible for probing both the magnitude and the nature of spin scattering, when compared to theoretical predictions. Here, we provide a short review of silicon quantum devices, focusing on silicon/silicon-germanium quantum wells. Our review touches on the fabrication and lithography of devices including quantum dots, and the development of Schottky top gates, which have recently enabled the formation of few-electron quantum dots with integrated charge sensors. We discuss recent proposals for quantum-dot quantum computing, as well as spin- and valley-scattering effects, which may limit device performance. Recent ESR studies suggest that spin scattering in high-mobility Si/SiGe two-dimensional electron gases may be dominated by the D’yakonov and Perel’ mechanism arising from Bychkov–Rashba spin-orbit coupling. These results rely on theoretical predictions for the dependence of the coherence time T 2 * on the orientation of an external applied magnetic field. Here, we perform ESR experiments on a series of samples fabricated by different methods, including samples recently used to obtain few-electron quantum dots. While we observe some similarities with recent experiments, we find that for five out of six samples, the angular dependence of T 2 * was far larger than the theoretical predictions. We discuss possible causes for this discrepancy, but conclude that the theoretical understanding of these samples is not yet complete.