Recently observed Aharonov-Bohm quantum interference of the period h/2e in charge density wave rings strongly suggests that correlated density wave electron transport is a cooperative quantum phenomenon. The picture discussed here posits that quantum solitons nucleate and transport current above a Coulomb blockade threshold field. We propose a field-dependent tunneling matrix element and use the Schrödinger equation, viewed as an emergent classical equation as in Feynman's treatment of Josephson tunneling, to compute the evolving macrostate amplitudes, finding excellent quantitative agreement with voltage oscillations and current-voltage characteristics in NbSe(3). A proposed phase diagram shows the conditions favoring soliton nucleation versus classical depinning.
© 2012 American Physical Society