Single-electronics implies the possibility to control the movement and position of a single electron or a small number of electrons. It is interesting to see how strong an influence a single electron with the minute charge of 1.6 · 10-19 As can have, given the right circumstances. Consider an uncharged small metallic sphere with a radius of 1 nm, something quite possible being produced today. If such a small sphere is charged with a single electron (Fig. 1), the electric field on the surface of the sphere in vacuum will become about 1.4 GV/m (about 14 MV/cm). A remarkably large repelling force for any other electron which wants to approach the sphere. This phenomenon makes it possible to separate a single electron in a solid-state structure. To be more accurate, we have not isolated a single electron, because many other electrons are present in the electron cloud of a metallic grain. But we have added precisely one single electron to the electrically neutral grain. Meaning we have control over single electrons and can manipulate them with single-electron precision.
KeywordsNobel Prize Single Electron Tunnel Junction Coulomb Blockade Granular Film
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