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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jan 19;98(3):036805. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

Coherent probing of excited quantum dot states in an interferometer.

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Solid State Physics Laboratory, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland.


Measurements of elastic and inelastic cotunneling currents are presented on a two-terminal Aharonov-Bohm interferometer with a Coulomb-blockaded quantum dot embedded in each arm. Coherent current contributions, even in a magnetic field, are found in the nonlinear regime of inelastic cotunneling at a finite-bias voltage. The phase of the Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in the current exhibits phase jumps of pi at the onsets of inelastic processes. We suggest that additional coherent elastic processes occur via the excited state. Our measurement technique allows the detection of such processes on a background of other inelastic current contributions and contains qualitative information about the ratio of transport and inelastic relaxation rates.

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