Schedule Oct 19, 2016
Synthesizing quantum matter using complex oxides
Jeremy Levy, Pitt & KITP

The "toolbox" of an ideal quantum emulator includes the ability to control lattice structure, particle statistics, and interactions, at sufficiently low temperatures, in a physical system whose fundamental physical description is well understood. To create synthetic quantum matter in a laboratory, one must identify a physical platform with quantum degrees of freedom that are easily manipulated and probed. In addition to well-known platforms based on ultracold atoms and ion traps, we introduce an approach to creating synthetic quantum matter based on reconfigurable nanostructures formed at the interface between two normally insulating oxides, LaAlO3 and SrTiO3. The potential landscape at this interface can be controlled with high precision (~ 2 nm), smaller than the average electron separation. Electron-electron interactions can be tuned between attractive (at low density) to repulsive (at high density) regimes. The attractive regime leads to electron pairing and superconductivity, while the latter leads to fermionic behavior with repulsive interactions. Many elements of the .quantum transport. toolbox have already been demonstrated, including superconducting single-electron transistors, Fabry-Perot interference and ballistic (quantized) transport of electrons and Cooper pairs in dissipationless electron waveguides. The challenges and promise of this approach will be described within the context of a parallel quest to understand the underlying mechanism of electron pairing in SrTiO3.

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