Feedback control of quantum mechanical systems is rapidly attracting attention not only due to fundamental questions about quantum measurements1, but also because of its novel applications in many fields in physics. Quantum control has been studied intensively in quantum optics1,2 but progress has recently been made in the control of solid-state qubits3,4,5 as well. In quantum transport only a few active6,7,8 and passive9,10,11 feedback experiments have been realized on the level of single electrons, although theoretical proposals12,13,14 exist. Here we demonstrate the suppression of shot noise in a single-electron transistor using an exclusively electronic closed-loop feedback to monitor and adjust the counting statistics6,15,16,17,18,19,20. With increasing feedback response we observe a stronger suppression and faster freezing of charge current fluctuations. Our technique is analogous to the generation of squeezed light with in-loop photodetection1,21,22 as used in quantum optics. Sub-Poisson single-electron sources will pave the way for high-precision measurements in quantum transport similar to optical or optomechanical23 equivalents.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Power generator driven by Maxwell’s demon
Nature Communications Open Access 16 May 2017
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$259.00 per year
only $21.58 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Get just this article for as long as you need it
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Wiseman, H. M. Quantum Measurement and Control (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009).
Serafini, A. Feedback control of quantum optics: an overview of experimental breakthroughs and areas of application. ISRN Optics 2012, 275016 (2012).
Bluhm, H., Foletti, S., Mahalu, D., Umansky, V. & Yacoby, A. Enhancing the coherence of a spin qubit by operating it as a feedback loop that controls its nuclear spin bath. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 216803 (2010).
Vijay, R. et al. Stabilizing Rabi oscillations in a superconducting qubit using quantum feedback. Nature 490, 77–80 (2012).
Blok, M. S. et al. Manipulating a qubit through the backaction of sequential partial measurements and real-time feedback. Nat. Phys. 10, 189–193 (2014).
Chida, K., Nishiguchi, K., Yamahata, G., Tanaka, H. & Fujiwara, A. Thermal-noise suppression in nano-scale Si field-effect transistors by feedback control based on single-electron detection. Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 073110 (2015).
Koski, J. V., Maisi, V. F. Pekola, J. P. & Averin, D. V. Experimental realization of a Szilard engine with a single electron. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 13786–13789 (2014).
Hofmann, A. et al. Equilibrium free energy measurement of a confined electron driven out of equilibrium. Phys. Rev. B. 93, 035425 (2016).
Fricke, L. et al. Quantized current source with mesoscopic feedback. Phys. Rev. B 83, 193306 (2011).
Thierschmann, H. et al. Three-terminal energy harvester with coupled quantum dots. Nat. Nanotech. 10, 854–858 (2015).
Koski, J. V., Kutvonen, A., Khaymovich, I. M., Ala-Nissila, T. & Pekola, J. P. On-chip Maxwell's demon as an information-powered refrigerator. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 260602 (2015).
Brandes, T. Feedback control of quantum transport. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 06060 (2010).
Kießlich, G., Schaller, G., Emary, C. & Brandes, T. Charge qubit purification by an electronic feedback loop. Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 050501 (2011).
Emary, C. & Gough, J. Coherent feedback control in quantum transport. Phys. Rev. B 90, 205436 (2014).
Bagrets, D. A. & Nazarov, Yu. V. Full counting statistics of charge transfer in Coulomb blockade systems. Phys. Rev. B 67, 085316 (2003).
Lu, W., Ji, Z., Pfeiffer, L., West, K. W., Rimberg, A. J. Real-time detection of electron tunneling in a quantum dot. Nature 423, 422–425 (2003).
Bylander, J., Duty, T. & Delsing, P. Current measurement by real-time counting of single electrons. Nature 434, 361–364 (2005).
Gustavsson, S. et al. Counting statistics of single-electron transport in a quantum dot. Phys Rev Lett. 96, 076605 (2006).
Flindt, C. et al. Universal oscillations in counting statistics. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 10116–10119 (2009).
Fricke, L. et al. Self-referenced single-electron quantized current source. Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 226803 (2014).
Walker, J. G. & Jakeman, E. Optical dead time effects and sub Poissonion photo-electron counting statistics. Proc. SPIE 492, 274–277 (1985).
Machida, S. & Yamamoto, Y. Observation of sub-poissonian photoelectron statistics in a negative feedback semiconductor laser. Opt. Commun. 57, 290–296 (1986).
Wollman, E. E. et al. Quantum squeezing of motion in a mechanical resonator. Science 349, 952–955 (2015).
Schottky, W. Über spontane Stromschwankungen in verschiedenen Elektrizitätsleitern. Ann. Phys. 362, 541–567 (1918).
Blanter, Ya. M. & Büttiker, M. Shot noise in mesoscopic conductors. Phys. Rep. 336, 1–166 (2000).
Landauer, R. Condensed-matter physics: the noise is the signal. Nature 392, 658–659 (1998).
Pekola, J. P. et al. Single-electron current sources: toward a refined definition of the ampere. Rev. Mod. Phys. 85, 1421–1472 (2013).
Cassidy, M. C. et al. Single shot charge detection using a radio-frequency quantum point contact. Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 222104 (2007).
Wulf, M. Error accounting algorithm for electron counting experiments. Phys. Rev. B 87, 035312 (2013).
Strasberg, P., Schaller, G., Brandes, T. & Esposito, M. Thermodynamics of a physical model implementing a maxwell demon. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 040601 (2013).
Sothmann, B., Sánchez, R. & Jordan, A. N. Thermoelectric energy harvesting with quantum dots. Nanotechnology 26, 032001 (2015).
Maire, N., Hohls, F., Lüdtke, T., Pierz, K. & Haug, R. J. Noise at a Fermi-edge singularity in self-assembled InAs quantum dots. Phys. Rev. B 75, 233304 (2007).
We thank G. Haack for the valuable discussions. This work was financially supported by the DFG GRK 1991, QUEST (T.W, J.C.B., E.P.R. and R.J.H.) and DFG SFB 910, GRK 1558 (P.S. and T.B.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Wagner, T., Strasberg, P., Bayer, J. et al. Strong suppression of shot noise in a feedback-controlled single-electron transistor. Nature Nanotech 12, 218–222 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2016.225
This article is cited by
Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot
Nature Physics (2019)
Power generator driven by Maxwell’s demon
Nature Communications (2017)