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Smerat, Sebastian (2011): Ground state and dynamical properties of the finite Kondo lattice model and transport through carbon based nanodevices: a numerical study. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

The first topic of this thesis is the study of many-body effects in an one-dimensional strongly correlated electronic system - the Kondo lattice model. This system is tackled numerically by means of the density matrix renormalization group, since analytic method, i.e., perturbation the- ory fail due to competing coupling constants. The Kondo lattice model consists of a conduction band of electrons which couple via a spin exchange coupling to a localized spin lattice. We study the spectral properties of the one-dimensional Kondo lattice model as a function of the exchange coupling, the band filling, and the quasimomentum in the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases. We compute the dispersion relation of the quasiparticles, their lifetimes, and the Z factor. The exact ground state and the quasiparticle-dispersion relation of the Kondo lattice model with one conduction electron are well known. The quasiparticle could be identified as the spin polaron. Our calculations of the dispersion relation for partial band fillings give a result similar to the one-electron case, which suggests that the quasiparticle in both cases is the spin polaron. We find that the quasiparticle lifetime differs by orders of magnitude between the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases and depends strongly on the quasimomentum. Further- more, we study the effects of the Coulomb interaction on the phase diagram, the static magnetic susceptibility and electron spin relaxation. We show that onsite Coulomb interaction supports ferromagnetic order and nearest neighbor Coulomb interaction drives, depending on the elec- tron filling, either a paramagnetic or ferromagnetic order. Furthermore, we calculate electron quasiparticle life times, which can be related to electron spin relaxation and decoherence times, and explain their dependence on the strength of interactions and the electron filling in order to find the sweet spot of parameters where the relaxation time is maximized. We find that effective exchange processes between the electrons dominate the spin relaxation and decoherence rate. In the second topic of this thesis, we numerically calculate the electron transport through carbon nanotube based quantum dot devices. We use a master equation’s approach in first order of the tunneling rate to the leads and an extended constant interaction model to model the carbon nanotube system. This work has been done in collaboration with two experimental groups and we compare their respective experimentally obtained data to our numerical calculations. In both collaborations striking similarity between the numerical data and the experimental data is found. In the first collaboration transport through a carbon nanotube peapod, i.e, a carbon nanotube filled with fullerenes, has been measured. We identify a small hybridization between a fullerene molecule and the surrounding carbon nanotube to be of crucial importance for the understanding of the transport data. In the second collaboration, electron transport through a carbon nanotube rope, i.e., a bundle of carbon nanotubes has been measured. Also here, hybridization between the different nanotubes plays a crucial role. Furthermore, an external magnetic field is applied, which enables the identification of specific spin states of the compound quantum dot system. This might be important for future applications of such devices in spin-dependent electronics.