Title: Quantum coherence and magnetic scattering

Authors: Christopher Bauerle, Pascal Degiovanni, Laurent Saminadayar

Addresses: Department of Nanosciences, Institut Neel and Universite Joseph Fourier, BP 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09, France. ' Laboratoire de Physique, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, 46 allee d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France. ' Department of Nanosciences, Institut Neel and Universite Joseph Fourier, BP 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09, France; Institut Universitaire de France, 103, boulevard Saint Michel, 75005 Paris, France

Abstract: The time τφ over which an electron can maintain its phase coherence at low temperatures is of fundamental importance in mesoscopic systems. The observability of many phenomena, such as the Aharonov Bohm effect, the universal conductance fluctuations, the weak localisation correction to the conductance, persistent current in ringstructures and many more rely on a long enough phase coherence time. In disordered conductors and within the standard Fermi liquid picture, the phase coherence time is expected to diverge at zero temperature. However, most experiments show a saturating phase coherence time at low temperatures. This saturation has often been attributed to the presence of a small amount of magnetic impurities giving rise to the so-called Kondo effect. In this paper, we present a brief review of recent advances, both experimental and theoretical, in the understanding of dephasing by magnetic impurities in the framework of the Kondo effect.

Keywords: quantum coherence; Kondo effect; Fermi liquids; quantum wires; weak localisation; magnetic scattering; saturation; nanotechnology; dephasing; magnetic impurities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2010.031727

International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2010 Vol.7 No.4/5/6/7/8, pp.403 - 419

Published online: 21 Feb 2010 *

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