Session W17: Optics of Semiconductor Nanowires

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Thursday, March 1, 2012
Room: 252A

Sponsoring Unit: FIAP
Chair: Steve Erwin, Naval Research Laboratory

Abstract ID: BAPS.2012.MAR.W17.14

Abstract: W17.00014 : Quantum Zigzag Phase Transition in Quantum Wires

1:51 PM–2:03 PM

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  Abhijit C. Mehta
    (Duke University)

  Cyrus J. Umrigar
    (Cornell University)

  Harold U. Baranger
    (Duke University)

We use Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) techniques to study the quantum phase transition of interacting electrons in quantum wires to a quasi-one dimensional zigzag phase. The phase diagram of particles with Coulomb interaction that undergo a linear to zigzag transition is relevant to electrons in quantum wires [Meyer et al, PRL 2007] and ions in linear traps [Simshoni et al., PRL 2011]. Interacting electrons confined to a wire by a transverse harmonic potential form a Wigner crystal at low densities; as density increases, symmetry about the axis of the wire is broken and the electrons undergo a transition to a quasi-one-dimensional zigzag phase. Using QMC, we characterize this phase transition by measuring the power spectrum and addition energies.

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