Andreev bound states probed in three-terminal quantum dots

J. Gramich, A. Baumgartner, C. Schönenberger
2017 Physical review B  
We demonstrate several new electron transport phenomena mediated by Andreev bound states (ABSs) that form on three-terminal carbon nanotube (CNT) QDs, with one superconducting (S) contact in the center and two adjacent normal metal (N) contacts. Three-terminal spectroscopy allows us to identify the coupling to the N contacts as the origin of the Andreev resonance (AR) linewidths and to determine the critical coupling strengths to S, for which a ground state transition S-QD systems can occur. We
more » ... ascribe replicas of the lowest-energy ABS resonance to transitions between the ABS and odd-parity excited QD states, a process called excited state ABS resonances. In the conductance between the two N contacts we find a characteristic pattern of positive and negative differential subgap conductance, which we explain by considering two nonlocal processes, the creation of Cooper pairs in S by electrons from both N terminals, and a novel mechanism called resonant ABS tunneling. In the latter, electrons are transferred via the ABS without creating Cooper pairs in S. The three-terminal geometry also allows spectroscopy experiments with different boundary conditions, for example by leaving S floating. Surprisingly, we find that, depending on the boundary conditions, the experiments either show single-particle Coulomb blockade resonances, ABS characteristics, or both in the same measurements, seemingly contradicting the notion of ABSs replacing the single particle states as eigenstates of the QD. We qualitatively explain these results as originating from the finite time scale required for the coherent oscillations between the superposition states after a single electron tunneling event. These experiments demonstrate that three-terminal experiments on a single complex quantum object can also be useful to investigate charge dynamics otherwise not accessible due to the very high frequencies.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.96.195418 fatcat:66b3l7x7araw7o3uqmtfdxw5pm