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On the discrete spectrum of quantum layers

Journal article, 2012

Consider a quantum particle trapped between a curved layer of constant width built over a complete, non-compact, C2 smooth surface embedded in R3. We assume that the surface is asymptotically flat in the sense that the second fundamental form vanishes at infinity, and that the surface is not totally geodesic. This geometric setting is known as a quantum layer. We consider the quantum particle to be governed by the Dirichlet Laplacian as Hamiltonian. Our work concerns the existence of bound states with energy beneath the essential spectrum, which implies the existence of discrete spectrum. We first prove that if the Gauss curvature is integrable, and the surface is weakly κ-parabolic, then the discrete spectrum is non-empty. This result implies that if the total Gauss curvature is non-positive, then the discrete spectrum is non-empty. Next, we prove that if the Gauss curvature is non-negative, then the discrete spectrum is non-empty. Finally, we prove that if the surface is parabolic, then the discrete spectrum is non-empty if the layer is sufficiently thin.