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Parity-dependent Kondo effect in ultrasmall metallic grains

By Giancarlo Franzese, Roberto Raimondi and Rosario Fazio

Abstract

PACS. 75.75.+a – Magnetic properties of nanostructures. PACS. 73.63.-b – Electronic transport in mesoscopic or nanoscale materials and structures. Abstract. – In this Letter we study the Kondo effect in an ultrasmall metallic grain, i.e. small enough to have a discrete energy-level spectrum, by calculating the susceptibility χ of the magnetic impurity. Our quantum Monte Carlo simulations, and analytic solution of a simple model, show that the behavior changes dramatically depending on whether the number of electrons in the grain is even or odd. We suggest that the measurements of χ provide an effective experimental way of probing the grain’s number parity. Small metallic particles, typically of dimensions of few nanometers, show properties which are intermediate between atomic and bulk condensed matter systems. Because of the finite dimensions, the quasi-continuous spectrum in the bulk splits into discrete energy levels. When the average level spacing δ is comparable with the other energy scales of the problem interesting new effects appear. For example the physical observables are parity dependent, i.e. differ if the number of electrons in the grain is even or odd. While metallic particles have been investigated in ensembles of grains in the past (see [1] and references therein), only recently spectroscop

Year: 2002
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