Pauli Spin Blockade in a Highly Tunable Silicon Double Quantum Dot

N.S. Lai, W.H. Lim, C.H. Yang, F.A. Zwanenburg, W.A. Coish, F. Qassemi, A. Morello, A.S. Dzurak

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Double quantum dots are convenient solid-state platforms to encode quantum information. Two-electron spin states can be detected and manipulated using quantum selection rules based on the Pauli exclusion principle, leading to Pauli spin blockade of electron transport for triplet states. Coherent spin states would be optimally preserved in an environment free of nuclear spins, which is achievable in silicon by isotopic purification. Here we report on a deliberately engineered, gate-defined silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor double quantum dot system. The electron occupancy of each dot and the inter-dot tunnel coupling are independently tunable by electrostatic gates. At weak inter-dot coupling we clearly observe Pauli spin blockade and measure a large intra-dot singlet-triplet splitting > 1 meV. The leakage current in spin blockade has a peculiar magnetic field dependence, unrelated to electron-nuclear effects and consistent with the effect of spin-flip cotunneling processes. The results obtained here provide excellent prospects for realising singlet-triplet qubits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110
Number of pages6
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Electronic properties and materials
  • Magnetic properties and materials
  • Materials science
  • Quantum physics


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