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Title: Single Electron Tunneling

Financial support for this project has led to advances in the science of single-electron phenomena. Our group reported the first observation of the so-called ''Coulomb Staircase'', which was produced by tunneling into ultra-small metal particles. This work showed well-defined tunneling voltage steps of width e/C and height e/RC, demonstrating tunneling quantized on the single-electron level. This work was published in a now well-cited Physical Review Letter. Single-electron physics is now a major sub-field of condensed-matter physics, and fundamental work in the area continues to be conducted by tunneling in ultra-small metal particles. In addition, there are now single-electron transistors that add a controlling gate to modulate the charge on ultra-small photolithographically defined capacitive elements. Single-electron transistors are now at the heart of at least one experimental quantum-computer element, and single-electron transistor pumps may soon be used to define fundamental quantities such as the farad (capacitance) and the ampere (current). Novel computer technology based on single-electron quantum dots is also being developed. In related work, our group played the leading role in the explanation of experimental results observed during the initial phases of tunneling experiments with the high-temperature superconductors. When so-called ''multiple-gap'' tunneling was reported, the phenomenon was correctly identified bymore » our group as single-electron tunneling in small grains in the material. The main focus throughout this project has been to explore single electron phenomena both in traditional tunneling formats of the type metal/insulator/particles/insulator/metal and using scanning tunneling microscopy to probe few-particle systems. This has been done under varying conditions of temperature, applied magnetic field, and with different materials systems. These have included metals, semi-metals, and superconductors. Amongst a number of results, we have verified that clusters of down to one, two, and three metal atoms can be identified with single-electron techniques. We have also, extended the regime of single-electron phenomenology through the observation of single-electron effects in metal droplets in the high-conductance regime.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
899023
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/45373
TRN: US0702181
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-88ER45373
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Notre Dame
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE - Office of Energy Research (ER)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; TUNNEL EFFECT; ELECTRONS; METALS; CAPACITANCE; QUANTUM DOTS; SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPY; SUPERCONDUCTORS; TRANSISTORS