Electron-Electron Interactions in Isolated and Realistic Quantum Dots: A Density Functional Theory Study

Hong Jiang 1, 2, 3, Denis Ullmo 2, 4, Weitao Yang 1, Harold U. Baranger 2

Physical Review B 69 (2004) 235326

We use Kohn-Sham spin-density-functional theory to study the statistics of ground-state spin and the spacing between conductance peaks in the Coulomb blockade regime for both 2D isolated and realistic quantum dots. We make a systematic investigation of the effects of electron-electron interaction strength and electron number on both the peak spacing and spin distributions. A direct comparison between the distributions from isolated and realistic dots shows that, despite the difference in the boundary conditions and confining potential, the statistical properties are qualitatively the same. Strong even/odd pairing in the peak spacing distribution is observed only in the weak e-e interaction regime and vanishes for moderate interactions. The probability of high spin ground states increases for stronger e-e interaction and seems to saturate around $r_s \sim 4$. The saturated value is larger than previous theoretical predictions. Both spin and conductance peak spacing distributions show substantial variation as the electron number increases, not saturating until $N \sim 150$. To interpret our numerical results, we analyze the spin distribution in the even $N$ case using a simple two-level model.

  • 1. Department of Chemistry,
    Duke University
  • 2. Duke Physics,
    Duke University
  • 3. College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering,
    Peking University
  • 4. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud