Interaction-induced strong localization in quantum dots
We argue that Coulomb blockade phenomena are a useful probe of the crossover to strong correlation in quantum dots. Through calculations at low density using variational and diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (up to rs âˆ¼55), we find that the addition energy shows a clear progression from features associated with shell structure to those caused by commensurability of a Wigner crystal. This crossover (which occurs near rs âˆ¼20 for spin-polarized electrons) is, then, a signature of interaction-driven localization. As the addition energy is directly measurable in Coulomb blockade conductance experiments, this provides a direct probe of localization in the low density electron gas. Â© 2008 The American Physical Society.