Three-electron anisotropic quantum dots in variable magnetic fields: exact results for excitation spectra, spin structures, and entanglement

Physics – Condensed Matter – Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics

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To appear in Physical Review B. REVTEX4. 13 pages with 16 color figures. To download a copy with higher-quality figures, go to

Scientific paper

10.1103/PhysRevB.76.245310

Exact-diagonalization calculations for N=3 electrons in anisotropic quantum dots, covering a broad range of confinement anisotropies and strength of inter-electron repulsion, are presented for zero and low magnetic fields. The excitation spectra are analyzed as a function of the strength of the magnetic field and for increasing quantum-dot anisotropy. Analysis of the intrinsic structure of the many-body wave functions through spin-resolved two-point correlations reveals that the electrons tend to localize forming Wigner molecules. For certain ranges of dot parameters (mainly at strong anisotropy), the Wigner molecules acquire a linear geometry, and the associated wave functions with a spin projection S_z=1/2 are similar to the representative class of strongly entangled states referred to as W-states. For other ranges of parameters (mainly at intermediate anisotropy), the Wigner molecules exhibit a more complex structure consisting of two mirror isosceles triangles. This latter structure can be viewed as an embryonic unit of a zig-zag Wigner crystal in quantum wires. The degree of entanglement in three-electron quantum dots can be quantified through the use of the von Neumann entropy.

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