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Nature. 2005 Mar 24;434(7032):484-8.

Orbital Kondo effect in carbon nanotubes.

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  • 1Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5046, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands. pablo@qt.tn.tudelft.nl

Abstract

Progress in the fabrication of nanometre-scale electronic devices is opening new opportunities to uncover deeper aspects of the Kondo effect--a characteristic phenomenon in the physics of strongly correlated electrons. Artificial single-impurity Kondo systems have been realized in various nanostructures, including semiconductor quantum dots, carbon nanotubes and individual molecules. The Kondo effect is usually regarded as a spin-related phenomenon, namely the coherent exchange of the spin between a localized state and a Fermi sea of delocalized electrons. In principle, however, the role of the spin could be replaced by other degrees of freedom, such as an orbital quantum number. Here we show that the unique electronic structure of carbon nanotubes enables the observation of a purely orbital Kondo effect. We use a magnetic field to tune spin-polarized states into orbital degeneracy and conclude that the orbital quantum number is conserved during tunnelling. When orbital and spin degeneracies are present simultaneously, we observe a strongly enhanced Kondo effect, with a multiple splitting of the Kondo resonance at finite field and predicted to obey a so-called SU4 symmetry.

PMID:
15791250
[PubMed]
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