Harnessing quantum transport by transient chaos

Yang, Rui; Huang, Liang; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Grebogi, Celso; Pecora, Louis M.
March 2013
Chaos;Mar2013, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p013125
Academic Journal
Chaos has long been recognized to be generally advantageous from the perspective of control. In particular, the infinite number of unstable periodic orbits embedded in a chaotic set and the intrinsically sensitive dependence on initial conditions imply that a chaotic system can be controlled to a desirable state by using small perturbations. Investigation of chaos control, however, was largely limited to nonlinear dynamical systems in the classical realm. In this paper, we show that chaos may be used to modulate or harness quantum mechanical systems. To be concrete, we focus on quantum transport through nanostructures, a problem of considerable interest in nanoscience, where a key feature is conductance fluctuations. We articulate and demonstrate that chaos, more specifically transient chaos, can be effective in modulating the conductance-fluctuation patterns. Experimentally, this can be achieved by applying an external gate voltage in a device of suitable geometry to generate classically inaccessible potential barriers. Adjusting the gate voltage allows the characteristics of the dynamical invariant set responsible for transient chaos to be varied in a desirable manner which, in turn, can induce continuous changes in the statistical characteristics of the quantum conductance-fluctuation pattern. To understand the physical mechanism of our scheme, we develop a theory based on analyzing the spectrum of the generalized non-Hermitian Hamiltonian that includes the effect of leads, or electronic waveguides, as self-energy terms. As the escape rate of the underlying non-attracting chaotic set is increased, the imaginary part of the complex eigenenergy becomes increasingly large so that pointer states are more difficult to form, making smoother the conductance-fluctuation pattern.


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