Conductance of a quantum wire in the Wigner-crystal regime

Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Mar 12;92(10):106801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.92.106801. Epub 2004 Mar 9.


We study the effect of Coulomb interactions on the conductance of a single-mode quantum wire connecting two bulk leads. When the density of electrons in the wire is very low, they arrange in a finite-length Wigner crystal. In this regime the electron spins form an antiferromagnetic Heisenberg chain with an exponentially small coupling J. An electric current in the wire perturbs the spin chain and gives rise to a temperature-dependent contribution of the spin subsystem to the resistance. At low temperature T<<J this effect is small, and the conductance of the wire remains close to 2e2/h. At T>>J the spin effect reduces the conductance to e2/h.