Classical behavior of few-electron parabolic quantum dots

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Quantum dots are intricate and fascinating systems to study novel phenomena of great theoretical and practical interest because low dimensionality coupled with the interplay between strong correlations, quantum confinement and magnetic field creates unique conditions for emergence of fundamentally new physics. In this work we consider two-dimensional semiconductor quantum dot systems consisting of few interacting electrons confined in an isotropic parabolic potential. We study the many-electron quantum ground state properties of such systems in presence of a perpendicular magnetic field as the number of electrons is varied using exact numerical diagonalizations and other approaches. The results derived from the calculations of the quantum model are then compared to corresponding results for a classical model of parabolically confined point charges who interact with a Coulomb potential. We find that, for a wide range of parameters and magnetic fields considered in this work, the quantum ground state energy is very close to the classical energy of the most stable classical configuration under the condition that the classical energy is properly adjusted to incorporate the quantum zero point motion. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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