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Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot


In stochastic resonance, the combination of a weak signal with noise leads to its amplification and optimization1. This phenomenon has been observed in several systems in contexts ranging from palaeoclimatology, biology, medicine, sociology and economics to physics1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. In all these cases, the systems were either operating in the presence of thermal noise or were exposed to external classical noise sources. For quantum-mechanical systems, it has been theoretically predicted that intrinsic fluctuations lead to stochastic resonance as well, a phenomenon referred to as quantum stochastic resonance1,10,11, but this has not been reported experimentally so far. Here we demonstrate tunnelling-controlled quantum stochastic resonance in the a.c.-driven charging and discharging of single electrons on a quantum dot. By analysing the counting statistics12,13,14,15,16, we demonstrate that synchronization between the sequential tunnelling processes and a periodic driving signal passes through an optimum, irrespective of whether the external frequency or the internal tunnel coupling is tuned.

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Fig. 1: Experimental set-up, device operation and statistical analysis.
Fig. 2: Frequency-dependent stochastic resonance.
Fig. 3: Temporal modulation of the tunnelling process.
Fig. 4: Tunnel coupling-dependent stochastic resonance.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.


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This work was supported financially by the Research Training Group 1991 (DFG), the School for Contacts in Nanosystems (NTH), the Center for Quantum Engineering and Space-Time Research (QUEST), the Laboratory for Nano and Quantum Engineering (LNQE) and the ‘Fundamentals of Physics and Metrology’ initiative (T.W, J.C.B., E.R. and R.J.H.).

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Authors and Affiliations



T.W. carried out the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. J.C.B. and T.W. fabricated the device. E.P.R. grew the wafer material. P.T. and P.H. provided theory support. T.W., P.T., P.H. and R.J.H discussed the results. R.J.H. supervised the research. All authors contributed to editing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Timo Wagner.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Journal peer review information: Nature Physics thanks Christian Flindt and the other anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Wagner, T., Talkner, P., Bayer, J.C. et al. Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot. Nat. Phys. 15, 330–334 (2019).

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