Mesoscopic physics has started with the study of various kinds of interference effects of the electronic wave, but the features of electrons as a particle also show up in various interesting phenomena. For example, consider a small tunnel junction connected to an electrical source of constant voltage V (Fig. 1.6.1a). Suppose an electron tunnels from one electrode to the other through the insulator between them. If the junction is very small, its capacitance is small too, unless the insulator between the electrodes is extremely thin. Then the charging energy e 2/2C can be as large as temperature times the Boltzmann constant, and is not negligible. Therefore, the tunneling is not realized unless the voltage V is large enough for this energy to be compensated by the energy eV.
KeywordsFermi Energy Charge Energy Differential Resistance Coulomb Blockade Mesoscopic System
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