Single-electron circuits of the future, consisting of a network of quantum dots, will require a mechanism to transport electrons from one functional part of the circuit to another. For example, in a quantum computer1 decoherence and circuit complexity can be reduced by separating quantum bit (qubit) manipulation from measurement and by providing a means of transporting electrons between the corresponding parts of the circuit2. Highly controlled tunnelling between neighbouring dots has been demonstrated3,4, and our ability to manipulate electrons in single- and double-dot systems is improving rapidly5,6,7,8. For distances greater than a few hundred nanometres, neither free propagation nor tunnelling is viable while maintaining confinement of single electrons. Here we show how a single electron may be captured in a surface acoustic wave minimum and transferred from one quantum dot to a second, unoccupied, dot along a long, empty channel. The transfer direction may be reversed and the same electron moved back and forth more than sixty times—a cumulative distance of 0.25 mm—without error. Such on-chip transfer extends communication between quantum dots to a range that may allow the integration of discrete quantum information processing components and devices.
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The authors acknowledge funding from the UK EPSRC, Toshiba Research Europe Limited and QIPIRC.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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McNeil, R., Kataoka, M., Ford, C. et al. On-demand single-electron transfer between distant quantum dots. Nature 477, 439–442 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10444
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