We study electronic transport through metallic multi-island Coulomb-blockade systems. Based on a diagrammatic real-time approach, we develop a computer algorithm that generates and calculates all transport contributions up to second order in the tunnel-coupling strengths for arbitrary multi-island systems. This comprises sequential and cotunneling, as well as terms corresponding to a renormalization of charging energies and tunneling conductances. Multi-island cotunneling processes with energy transfer between different islands are taken into account. To illustrate our approach we analyze the current through an island in Coulomb blockade, that is electrostatically coupled to a second island through which a large current is flowing. In this regime both cotunneling processes involving one island only as well as multi-island processes are important. The latter can be understood as photon-assisted sequential tunneling in the blockaded island, where the photons are provided by potential fluctuations due to sequential tunneling in the second island. We compare results of our approach to a P (E) theory for photon-assisted tunneling in the weak coupling limit.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 2006|