Gate-dependent spin-orbit coupling in multielectron carbon nanotubes

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Understanding how the orbital motion of electrons is coupled to the spin degree of freedom in nanoscale systems is central for applications in spin-based electronics and quantum computation. Here we demonstrate such spin–orbit coupling in a carbon-nanotube quantum dot in the general multielectron regime and in the presence of finite disorder. Also, we find a systematic dependence of the spin–orbit coupling on the electron occupation of the quantum dot. Such a dependence has not been seen in any other system and follows from the curvature-induced spin–orbit-split Dirac spectrum of the underlying graphene lattice. Our findings suggest that the spin–orbit coupling is a general property of carbon-nanotube quantum dots, which should provide a unique platform for the study of spin–orbit effects and their applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Physics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)348-353
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

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