FEM modeling for Scanning Gate Microscopy in Quantum point contacts

Quantum point contacts exhibit mysterious conductance anomalies in addition to well-known conductance plateaus at multiples of 2eČ/h. These 0.7 and zero-bias anomalies have been intensively studied, but their microscopic origin in terms of many-body effects is still highly debated. Here we use the charged tip of a scanning gate microscope to tune in-situ the electrostatic potential of the point contact. While sweeping the tip distance, we observe repetitive splittings of the zero-bias anomaly, correlated with simultaneous appearances of the 0.7 anomaly. We interpret this behaviour in terms of alternating equilibrium and non-equilibrium Kondo screenings of different spin states localized in the channel. These alter-nating Kondo effects point towards the presence of a Wigner crystal containing several charges with different parities. Indeed, simulations show that the electron density in the channel is low enough to reach one-dimensional Wigner crystallization over a size controlled by the tip position.