Peter Stano


Department of Physics
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 82
CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland

email:view address

tel: +41 (0)61 267 3756 (office)

Research Interests

Short CV

2012-now          SCIEX fellow with Prof. Dr. Daniel Loss
2009-2011 post-doc with Prof. Philippe Jacquod, University of Arizona, USA
2008-2009 post-doc with Prof. RNDr. Vladimir Buzek DrSc., Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
2007:PhD in condensend matter theory with Prof. Dr. Jaroslav Fabian, Universty of Regensburg, Germany
2003:Master in theoretical and matematical physics, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia


Show all abstracts.

1.  Topological Superconductivity and Majorana Fermions in RKKY Systems
Jelena Klinovaja, Peter Stano, Ali Yazdani, and Daniel Loss.

We consider quasi one-dimensional RKKY systems in proximity to an s-wave superconductor. We show that a $2k_F$-peak in the spin susceptibility of the superconductor in the one-dimensional limit supports helical order of localized magnetic moments via RKKY interaction, where $k_F$ is the Fermi wavevector. The magnetic helix is equivalent to a uniform magnetic field and very strong spin-orbit interaction (SOI) with an effective SOI length $1/2k_F$. We find the conditions to establish such a magnetic state in atomic chains and semiconducting nanowires with magnetic atoms or nuclear spins. Generically, these systems are in a topological phase with Majorana fermions. The inherent self-tuning of the helix to $2k_F$ eliminates the need to tune the chemical potential.

2.  Circuit QED with Hole-Spin Qubits in Ge/Si Nanowire Quantum Dots
Christoph Kloeffel, Mircea Trif, Peter Stano, and Daniel Loss.

We propose a setup for universal and electrically controlled quantum information processing with hole spins in Ge/Si core/shell nanowire quantum dots (NW QDs). Single-qubit gates can be driven through electric-dipole-induced spin resonance, with spin-flip times shorter than 100 ps. Long-distance qubit-qubit coupling can be mediated by the cavity electric field of a superconducting transmission line resonator, where we show that operation times below 20 ns seem feasible for the entangling square-root-of-iSWAP gate. The absence of Dresselhaus spin-orbit interaction (SOI) and the presence of an unusually strong Rashba-type SOI enable precise control over the transverse qubit coupling via an externally applied, perpendicular electric field. The latter serves as an on-off switch for quantum gates and also provides control over the g factor, so that single- and two-qubit gates can be operated independently. Remarkably, we find that idle states are insensitive to charge noise and phonons, and we discuss strategies for enhancing noise-limited gate fidelities.

3.  Local Spin Susceptibilities of Low-Dimensional Electron Systems
Peter Stano, Jelena Klinovaja, Amir Yacoby, and Daniel Loss.

We investigate, assess, and suggest possibilities for a measurement of the local spin susceptibility of a conducting low-dimensional electron system. The basic setup of the experiment we envisage is a source-probe one. Locally induced spin density (e.g. by a magnetized atomic force microscope tip) extends in the medium according to its spin susceptibility. The induced magnetization can be detected as a dipolar magnetic field, for instance, by an ultra-sensitive nitrogen-vacancy center based detector, from which the spatial structure of the spin susceptibility can be deduced. We find that one-dimensional systems, such as semiconducting nanowires or carbon nanotubes, are expected to yield a measurable signal. The signal in a two-dimensional electron gas is weaker, though materials with high enough $g$-factor (such as InGaAs) seem promising for successful measurements.

4.  Suppression of Interactions in Multimode Random Lasers in the Anderson Localized Regime
Peter Stano and Philippe Jacquod.
Nature Photonics 7, 66 (2013); arXiv:1210.6462.

Understanding random lasing is a formidable theoretical challenge. Unlike conventional lasers, random lasers have no resonator to trap light, they are highly multimode with potentially strong modal interactions and they are based on disordered gain media, where photons undergo random multiple scattering. Interference effects notoriously modify the propagation of waves in such random media, but their fate in the presence of nonlinearity and interactions is poorly understood. Here, we present a semiclassical theory for multimode random lasing in the strongly scattering regime. We show that Anderson localization, a wave-interference effect, is not affected by the presence of nonlinearities. To the contrary, its presence suppresses interactions between simultaneously lasing modes. Using a recently constructed theory for complex multimode lasers, we show analytically how Anderson localization justifies a noninteracting, single-pole approximation. Consequently, lasing modes in a strongly scattering random laser are given by long-lived, Anderson localized modes of the passive cavity, whose frequency and wave profile does not vary with pumping, even in the multi-mode regime when mode overlap spatially.

5.  Spin ordering in magnetic quantum dots: From core-halo to Wigner molecules
Rafal Oszwaldowski, Peter Stano, Andre G. Petukhov, and Igor Zutic.
Phys. Rev. B 86, 201408(R) (2012); arXiv:1210.6422.

The interplay of confinement and Coulomb interactions in quantum dots can lead to strongly correlated phases differing qualitatively from the Fermi liquid behavior. We explore how the presence of magnetic impurities in quantum dots can provide additional opportunities to study correlation effects and the resulting ordering in carrier and impurity spin. By employing exact diagonalization we reveal that seemingly simple two-carrier quantum dots lead to a rich phase diagram. We propose experiments to verify our predictions, in particular we discuss interband optical transitions as a function of temperature and magnetic field.

6.  Spin-orbit coupled particle in a spin bath
Peter Stano, Jaroslav Fabian, and Igor Zutic.
PRB 87, 165303 (2013); arXiv:1208.5606.

We consider a spin-orbit coupled particle confined in a quantum dot in a bath of impurity spins. We investigate the consequences of spin-orbit coupling on the interactions that the particle mediates in the spin bath. We show that in the presence of spin-orbit coupling, the impurity-impurity interactions are no longer spin-conserving. We quantify the degree of this symmetry breaking and show how it relates to the spin-orbit coupling strength. We identify several ways how the impurity ensemble can in this way relax its spin by coupling to phonons. A typical resulting relaxation rate for a self-assembled Mn-doped ZnTe quantum dot populated by a hole is 1 $\mu$s. We also show that decoherence arising from nuclear spins in lateral quantum dots is still removable by a spin echo protocol, even if the confined electron is spin-orbit coupled.

7.  Transition from fractional to Majorana fermions in Rashba nanowires
Jelena Klinovaja, Peter Stano, and Daniel Loss.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 236801 (2012); arXiv:1207.7322.

We study hybrid superconducting-semiconducting nanowires in the presence of Rashba spin-orbit interaction as well as helical magnetic fields. We show that the interplay between them leads to a competition of phases with two topological gaps closing and reopening, resulting in unexpected reentrance behavior. Besides the topological phase with localized Majorana fermions (MFs) we find new phases characterized by fractionally charged fermion (FF) bound states of Jackiw-Rebbi type. The system can be fully gapped by the magnetic fields alone, giving rise to FFs that transmute into MFs upon turning on superconductivity. We find explicit analytical solutions for MF and FF bound states and determine the phase diagram numerically by determining the corresponding Wronskian null space. We show by renormalization group arguments that electron-electron interactions enhance the Zeeman gaps opened by the fields.

8.  Theory of Spin Relaxation in Two-Electron Lateral Coupled Si/SiGe Quantum Dots
Martin Raith, Peter Stano, and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 86, 205321 (2012); arXiv:1206.6906.

Highly accurate numerical results of phonon-induced two-electron spin relaxation in silicon double quantum dots are presented. The relaxation, enabled by spin-orbit coupling and the nuclei of 29Si (natural or purified abundance), are investigated for all relevant parameter regimes, the interdot coupling, the magnetic field magnitude and orientation, and the detuning. We calculate all relaxation rates for zero and finite temperatures (100 mK), concluding that all findings for zero temperature qualitatively remain valid also for 100 mK. We confirm the same anisotropic switch of the axis of prolonged spin lifetime with varying detuning as recently predicted in GaAs. However, there is a striking difference compared to the GaAs counterpart. In silicon, the hyperfine-induced relaxation rate is negligible in all cases we studied-even for natural silicon. The spin-orbit coupling, although weak, is the dominant contribution, yielding anisotropic relaxation rates of at least two order of magnitude lower than in GaAs.

9.  Theory of Spin Relaxation in Two-Electron Lateral Coupled Quantum Dots
Martin Raith, Peter Stano, Fabio Baruffa, and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 246602 (2012); arXiv:1111.6724.

A global quantitative picture of the phonon-induced two-electron spin relaxation in GaAs double quantum dots is presented using highly accurate numerical calculations. Wide regimes of interdot coupling, magnetic field magnitude and orientation, and detuning are explored in the presence of a nuclear bath. Most important, the unusually strong magnetic anisotropy of the singlet-triplet relaxation can be controlled by detuning switching the principal anisotropy axes: a protected state becomes unprotected upon detuning, and vice versa. It is also established that nuclear spins can dominate spin relaxation for unpolarized triplets even at high magnetic fields, contrary to common belief. These findings are central to designing quantum dots geometries for spin-based quantum information processing with minimal environmental impact.

10.  Non-linear spin to charge conversion in mesoscopic structures
Peter Stano, Jaroslav Fabian, and Philippe Jacquod.
Phys. Rev. B 85, 241301(R) (2012); arXiv:1201.0249.

Motivated by recent experiments [Vera-Marun et al., arXiv:1109.5969], we formulate a non-linear theory of spin transport in quantum coherent conductors. We show how a mesoscopic constriction with energy-dependent transmission can convert a spin current injected by a spin accumulation into an electric signal, relying neither on magnetic nor exchange fields. When the transmission through the constriction is spin-independent, the spin-charge coupling is non-linear, with an electric signal that is quadratic in the accumulation. We estimate that gated mesoscopic constrictions have a sensitivity that allows to detect accumulations much smaller than a percent of the Fermi energy.

11.  Measuring Spin Accumulations with Current Noise
Jonathan Meair, Peter Stano, and Philippe Jacquod.
Phys. Rev. B 84, 073302 (2011); arXiv:1104.2353.

We investigate the time-dependent fluctuations of the electric current injected from a reservoir with a non-equilibrium spin accumulation into a mesoscopic conductor. We show how the current noise power directly reflects the magnitude of the spin accumulation in two easily noticeable ways. First, as the temperature is lowered, the small-bias noise saturates at a value determined by the spin accumulation. Second, in the presence of spin-orbit interactions in the conductor, the current noise exhibits a sample-dependent mesoscopic asymmetry under reversal of the electric current direction. These features provide for a purely electric protocol for measuring spin accumulations.

12.  Spin-to-Charge Conversion of Mesoscopic Spin Currents
Peter Stano and Philippe Jacquod.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 206602 (2011); arXiv:1012.1831.

Recent theoretical investigations have shown that spin currents can be generated by passing electric currents through spin-orbit coupled mesoscopic systems. Measuring these spin currents has however not been achieved to date. We show how mesoscopic spin currents in lateral heterostructures can be measured with a single-channel voltage probe. In the presence of a spin current, the charge current $I_{\rm qpc}$ through the quantum point contact connecting the probe is odd in an externally applied Zeeman field $B$, while it is even in the absence of spin current. Furthermore, the zero field derivative $\partial_B I_{\rm qpc}$ is proportional to the magnitude of the spin current, with a proportionality coefficient that can be determined in an independent measurement. We confirm these findings numerically.

13.  Theory of Single Electron Spin Relaxation in Si/SiGe Lateral Coupled Quantum Dots
Martin Raith, Peter Stano, and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 83, 195318 (2011); arXiv:1101.3858.

We investigate the spin relaxation induced by acoustic phonons in the presence of spin-orbit interactions in single electron Si/SiGe lateral coupled quantum dots. The relaxation rates are computed numerically in single and double quantum dots, in in-plane and perpendicular magnetic fields. The deformation potential of acoustic phonons is taken into account for both transverse and longitudinal polarizations and their contributions to the total relaxation rate are discussed with respect to the dilatation and shear potential constants. We find that in single dots the spin relaxation rate scales approximately with the seventh power of the magnetic field, in line with a recent experiment. In double dots the relaxation rate is much more sensitive to the dot spectrum structure, as it is often dominated by a spin hot spot. The anisotropy of the spin-orbit interactions gives rise to easy passages, special directions of the magnetic field for which the relaxation is strongly suppressed. Quantitatively, the spin relaxation rates in Si are typically 2 orders of magnitude smaller than in GaAs due to the absence of the piezoelectric phonon potential and generally weaker spin-orbit interactions.

14.  Spin-orbit coupling and anisotropic exchange in two-electron double quantum dots
Fabio Baruffa, Peter Stano, and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 82, 045311 (2010); arXiv:1004.2610.

The influence of the spin-orbit interactions on the energy spectrum of two-electron laterally coupled quantum dots is investigated. The effective Hamiltonian for a spin qubit pair proposed in F. Baruffa et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 126401 (2010) is confronted with exact numerical results in single and double quantum dots in zero and finite magnetic field. The anisotropic exchange Hamiltonian is found quantitatively reliable in double dots in general. There are two findings of particular practical importance: i) The model stays valid even for maximal possible interdot coupling (a single dot), due to the absence of a coupling to the nearest excited level, a fact following from the dot symmetry. ii) In a weak coupling regime, the Heitler-London approximation gives quantitatively correct anisotropic exchange parameters even in a finite magnetic field, although this method is known to fail for the isotropic exchange. The small discrepancy between the analytical model (which employes the linear Dresselhaus and Bychkov-Rashba spin-orbit terms) and the numerical data for GaAs quantum dots is found to be mostly due to the cubic Dresselhaus term.

15.  Spin-dependent tunneling into an empty lateral quantum dot
Peter Stano and Philippe Jacquod.
Phys. Rev. B 82, 125309 (2010); arXiv:1005.0024.

Motivated by the recent experiments of Amasha {\it et al.} [Phys. Rev. B {\bf 78}, 041306(R) (2008)], we investigate single electron tunneling into an empty quantum dot in presence of a magnetic field. We numerically calculate the tunneling rate from a laterally confined, few-channel external lead into the lowest orbital state of a spin-orbit coupled quantum dot. We find two mechanisms leading to a spin-dependent tunneling rate. The first originates from different electronic $g$-factors in the lead and in the dot, and favors the tunneling into the spin ground (excited) state when the $g$-factor magnitude is larger (smaller) in the lead. The second is triggered by spin-orbit interactions via the opening of off-diagonal spin-tunneling channels. It systematically favors the spin excited state. For physical parameters corresponding to lateral GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures and the experimentally reported tunneling rates, both mechanisms lead to a discrepancy of $\sim$10% in the spin up vs spin down tunneling rates. We conjecture that the significantly larger discrepancy observed experimentally originates from the enhancement of the $g$-factor in laterally confined lead.

16.  Theory of anisotropic exchange in laterally coupled quantum dots
Fabio Baruffa, Peter Stano, and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 126401 (2010); arXiv:0908.2961.

The effects of spin-orbit coupling on the two-electron spectra in lateral coupled quantum dots are investigated analytically and numerically. It is demonstrated that in the absence of magnetic field the exchange interaction is practically unaffected by spin-orbit coupling, for any interdot coupling, boosting prospects for spin-based quantum computing. The anisotropic exchange appears at finite magnetic fields. A numerically accurate effective spin Hamiltonian for modeling spin-orbit-induced two-electron spin dynamics in the presence of magnetic field is proposed.

17.  Coexistence of quantum operations
Teiko Heinosaari, Daniel Reitzner, Peter Stano, and Mario Ziman.
J. Phys. A 42, 365302 (2009); arXiv:0905.4953.

Quantum operations are used to describe the observed probability distributions and conditional states of the measured system. In this paper, we address the problem of their joint measurability (coexistence). We derive two equivalent coexistence criteria. The two most common classes of operations - Luders operations and conditional state preparators - are analyzed. It is shown that Luders operations are coexistent only under very restrictive conditions, when the associated effects are either proportional to each other, or disjoint.

18.  Notes on Joint Measurability of Quantum Observables
Teiko Heinosaari, Daniel Reitzner, and Peter Stano.
Foundations of Physics 38, 1133-1147 (2008); arXiv:0811.0783.

For sharp quantum observables the following facts hold: (i) if we have a collection of sharp observables and each pair of them is jointly measurable, then they are jointly measurable all together; (ii) if two sharp observables are jointly measurable, then their joint observable is unique and it gives the greatest lower bound for the effects corresponding to the observables; (iii) if we have two sharp observables and their every possible two outcome partitionings are jointly measurable, then the observables themselves are jointly measurable. We show that, in general, these properties do not hold. Also some possible candidates which would accompany joint measurability and generalize these apparently useful properties are discussed.

19.  Approximate Joint Measurability of Spin Along Two Directions
Teiko Heinosaari, Peter Stano, and Daniel Reitzner.
International Journal of Quantum Information 6, 975 (2008); arXiv:0801.2712.

We study the existence of jointly measurable POVM approximations to two non-commuting sharp spin observables. We compare two different ways to specify optimal approximations.

20.  Coexistence of qubit effects
Peter Stano, Daniel Reitzner, and Teiko Heinosaari.
Phys. Rev. A 78, 012315 (2008); arXiv:0802.4248.

We characterize all coexistent pairs of qubit effects. This gives an exhaustive description of all pairs of events allowed, in principle, to occur in a single qubit measurement. The characterization consists of three disjoint conditions which are easy to check for a given pair of effects. Known special cases are shown to follow from our general characterization theorem.

21.  Control of electron spin and orbital resonance in quantum dots through spin-orbit interactions
Peter Stano and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 77, 045310 (2008); arXiv:cond-mat/0611228.

Influence of resonant oscillating electromagnetic field on a single electron in coupled lateral quantum dots in the presence of phonon-induced relaxation and decoherence is investigated. Using symmetry arguments it is shown that spin and orbital resonance can be efficiently controlled by spin-orbit interactions. The control is possible due to the strong sensitivity of Rabi frequency to the dot configuration (orientation of the dot and a static magnetic field) as a result of the anisotropy of the spin-orbit interactions. The so called easy passage configuration is shown to be particularly suitable for magnetic manipulation of spin qubits, ensuring long spin relaxation time and protecting the spin qubit from electric field disturbances accompanying on-chip manipulations.

22.  Semiconductor Spintronics
J. Fabian, A. Matos-Abiague, C. Ertler, P. Stano, and I. Zutic.
Acta Physica Slovaca 57, No.4&5, 565-907 (2007); arXiv:0711.1461.

Spintronics refers commonly to phenomena in which the spin of electrons in a solid state environment plays the determining role. In a more narrow sense spintronics is an emerging research field of electronics: spintronics devices are based on a spin control of electronics, or on an electrical and optical control of spin or magnetism. This review presents selected themes of semiconductor spintronics, introducing important concepts in spin transport, spin injection, Silsbee-Johnson spin-charge coupling, and spindependent tunneling, as well as spin relaxation and spin dynamics. The most fundamental spin-dependent nteraction in nonmagnetic semiconductors is spin-orbit coupling. Depending on the crystal symmetries of the material, as well as on the structural properties of semiconductor based heterostructures, the spin-orbit coupling takes on different functional forms, giving a nice playground of effective spin-orbit Hamiltonians. The effective Hamiltonians for the most relevant classes of materials and heterostructures are derived here from realistic electronic band structure descriptions. Most semiconductor device systems are still theoretical concepts, waiting for experimental demonstrations. A review of selected proposed, and a few demonstrated devices is presented, with detailed description of two important classes: magnetic resonant tunnel structures and bipolar magnetic diodes and transistors. In most cases the presentation is of tutorial style, introducing the essential theoretical formalism at an accessible level, with case-study-like illustrations of actual experimental results, as well as with brief reviews of relevant recent achievements in the field.

23.  Orbital and spin relaxation in single and coupled quantum dots
Peter Stano and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 74, 045320 (2006); arXiv:cond-mat/0604633.

Phonon-induced orbital and spin relaxation rates of single electron states in lateral single and double quantum dots are obtained numerically for realistic materials parameters. The rates are calculated as a function of magnetic field and interdot coupling, at various field and quantum dot orientations. It is found that orbital relaxation is due to deformation potential phonons at low magnetic fields, while piezoelectric phonons dominate the relaxation at high fields. Spin relaxation, which is dominated by piezoelectric phonons, in single quantum dots is highly anisotropic due to the interplay of the Bychkov-Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit couplings. Orbital relaxation in double dots varies strongly with the interdot coupling due to the cyclotron effects on the tunneling energy. Spin relaxation in double dots has an additional anisotropy due to anisotropic spin hot spots which otherwise cause giant enhancement of the rate at useful magnetic fields and interdot couplings. Conditions for the absence of the spin hot spots in in-plane magnetic fields (easy passages) and perpendicular magnetic fields (weak passages) are formulated analytically for different growth directions of the underlying heterostructure. It is shown that easy passages disappear (spin hot spots reappear) if the double dot system loses symmetry by an xy-like perturbation.

24.  Theory of phonon-induced spin relaxation in laterally coupled quantum dots
Peter Stano and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 186602 (2006); arXiv:cond-mat/0512713.

Phonon-induced spin relaxation in coupled lateral quantum dots in the presence of spin-orbit coupling is calculated. The calculation for single dots is consistent with experiment. Spin relaxation in double dots at useful interdot couplings is dominated by spin hot spots that are strongly anisotropic. Spin hot spots are ineffective for a diagonal crystallographic orientation of the dots with a transverse in-plane field. This geometry is proposed for spin-based quantum information processing.

25.  Spin properties of single electron states in coupled quantum dots
Peter Stano and Jaroslav Fabian.
Phys. Rev. B 72, 155410 (2005); arXiv:cond-mat/0506610.

Spin properties of single electron states in laterally coupled quantum dots in the presence of a perpendicular magnetic field are studied by exact numerical diagonalization. Dresselhaus (linear and cubic) and Bychkov-Rashba spin-orbit couplings are included in a realistic model of confined dots based on GaAs. Group theoretical classification of quantum states with and without spin orbit coupling is provided. Spin-orbit effects on the g-factor are rather weak. It is shown that the frequency of coherent oscillations (tunneling amplitude) in coupled dots is largely unaffected by spin-orbit effects due to symmetry requirements. The leading contributions to the frequency involves the cubic term of the Dresselhaus coupling. Spin-orbit coupling in the presence of magnetic field leads to a spin-dependent tunneling amplitude, and thus to the possibility of spin to charge conversion, namely spatial separation of spin by coherent oscillations in a uniform magnetic field. It is also shown that spin hot spots exist in coupled GaAs dots already at moderate magnetic fields, and that spin hot spots at zero magnetic field are due to the cubic Dresselhaus term only.