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Keywords:

  • Mesoscopic systems;
  • Conductance fluctuations;
  • Quantum dissipation

Abstract

We study the conductance of a single particle on a ring subject to an arbitrary dc electric field, which is generated by a linearly in time increasing magnetic flux. The full quantum mechanical time development is calculated numerically by splitting the dynamics into independent consecutive Zener tunneling transitions and free motion on the ring. The Zener transitions occur near the avoided crossings of the bandstructure which arises from the adiabatic eigenstates as a function of flux in the presence of a static scattering potential. To account for the necessary dissipation the particle is coupled to an appropriate oscillator bath which is adjusted to give a strictly linear current-voltage characteristic for arbitrary voltage and temperature in the absence of scattering. Taking a single δ-function scatterer we find that the dissipative coupling eliminates the localization in energy space found previously and leads to a well defined resistive steady state. The scattering introduces reproducible fluctuations around the average Ohmic behavior which are caused by coherent backscattering. Their magnitude depends on the strength of the scattering potential and decays slowly for large voltages. The associated correlation energy is determined by the uncertainty of the eigenstates due to the dissipative bath coupling. Thermal averaging leads to a decrease of the conductance fluctuations proportional to T−1.