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Effects of Coherence and Correlations on Transport through Nanostructures

Karlström, Olov LU (2012)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

For several decades the electronic industry has developed towards smaller and smaller electronic components. The idea behind this

development is quite simple: Small components have faster response times, which enables faster devices.

Also, smaller components make it possible to decrease the size of the devices. A common example is today's mobile phones, that actually

are quite powerful computers. This development was predicted a long time ago by Gordon E. Moore in 1965.

Moore's law states that in integrated circuits the number of transistors doubles every second year, and so far the prediction is true.



A transistor can be viewed as the... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

For several decades the electronic industry has developed towards smaller and smaller electronic components. The idea behind this

development is quite simple: Small components have faster response times, which enables faster devices.

Also, smaller components make it possible to decrease the size of the devices. A common example is today's mobile phones, that actually

are quite powerful computers. This development was predicted a long time ago by Gordon E. Moore in 1965.

Moore's law states that in integrated circuits the number of transistors doubles every second year, and so far the prediction is true.



A transistor can be viewed as the electronic equivalent to the biological cell, in that it is the smallest building block in electronic

circuits. A modern computer contains several billions of these small components.

They work as switches, where a channel can either conduct current or block it. This is the origin of zeros and ones

used in electronics. Intel's latest generation of transistors, named Ivy Bridge, measures 22 nm, which corresponds to less than

100 silicon atoms in length.



As the transistors shrink in size, also the current passing through them will decrease. At some point, already passed by today's

electronic industry, the current can no longer be viewed as continuous, but must instead be considered on the level of electrons,

i.e. the electronic charge is quantized. In the ultimate limit a transistor only allows one electron to pass at a time, a so called

single electron transistor. Such devices can be built using nano-electronics. One possible implementation is quantum dots.

These objects, which can be thought of as artificial atoms, are small regions in space where the electrons are confined.

An example of a quantum dot investigated in this thesis can be seen

in Fig.~1. Here a restricted region in space is formed between two metal stripes, source and drain, in a very small wire.

These wires are referred to as nanowires, and the one shown in the figure is made of indium antomonide (InSb).

Single electron transistors can also be manufactured using molecules, or even single atoms.



As a result of the quantized charge transport, the classical Ohm's law that states that the current is given by the bias

divided by the resistance I=V/R, no longer holds. One must instead use Quantum mechanics, which is the physical tool used in this thesis.



A central concept in Quantum mechanics is coherence. Coherence means that an electron can be in two different positions at the same time.

To understand this somewhat mind blowing concept one should think of the electron as a wave. Like a wave hitting a double slit, the electron

can pass through both openings at the same time. On the other side of the slit, the electron, like a wave, interferes

constructively or destructively with itself. This effect can be observed in e.g. quantum dots or molecules. In these there can be different

pathways, acting as slits, that the electron can use to when transported through such devices.

This effect, not present in classical electronics, allows us to construct better devices. One example considered in this thesis

is in the field of thermopower. Due to coherence, it is possible to construct quantum dots or molecules working as filters that only

allow electrons with a high temperature to pass. This allows for conversion of heat into electrical current, something that

would be very useful in today's industrialized world.

As approximately 90% of the worlds energy is generated by heat engines that use fossil fuels,

and these typically operate at 30-40% efficiency,

roughly 15 terawatts of heat is constantly lost to the environment. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation deals with the effects of coherence and correlations on transport through nanostructures. Simulations are mainly performed using the second order von Neumann approach, a method capable of dealing with these effects in the presence of higher order tunneling. We see that such effects can result in various kinds of current suppression as well as efficient thermoelectric devices.



Furthermore, the second order von Neumann approach has been developed to enable noise calculations. A thorough investigation of the analytical properties of the approach has also been performed.



The thesis is based on the five papers listed below.



Paper I deals with the transport measurements... (More)
This dissertation deals with the effects of coherence and correlations on transport through nanostructures. Simulations are mainly performed using the second order von Neumann approach, a method capable of dealing with these effects in the presence of higher order tunneling. We see that such effects can result in various kinds of current suppression as well as efficient thermoelectric devices.



Furthermore, the second order von Neumann approach has been developed to enable noise calculations. A thorough investigation of the analytical properties of the approach has also been performed.



The thesis is based on the five papers listed below.



Paper I deals with the transport measurements of an InSb quantum dot and corresponding simulations. Of special interest was the discovery of a canyon of current suppression observed at the degeneracy of two different spinless dot states.



Paper II provides a theoretical more detailed description of the phenomena discussed in Paper I.



Paper III suggests how efficient high-power thermoelectric devices can be constructed using quantum interference of transport through two-level systems.



Paper IV deals with current blockade effects that can be observed in systems with negative charging energy, e.g. dipolar systems.



Paper V analyzes the virtues of our second order von Neumann formalism in detail. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Ratner, Mark A., Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, USA
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Fysicumarkivet A:2012:Karlström
pages
151 pages
publisher
Department of Physics, Lund University
defense location
Lecture hall F, Sölvegatan 14A, Lund
defense date
2012-10-09 13:15
ISBN
978-91-7473-376-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e27b31cd-617b-4d6d-87bc-52531a2d23ed (old id 3051965)
date added to LUP
2012-09-11 12:49:57
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@misc{e27b31cd-617b-4d6d-87bc-52531a2d23ed,
  abstract     = {This dissertation deals with the effects of coherence and correlations on transport through nanostructures. Simulations are mainly performed using the second order von Neumann approach, a method capable of dealing with these effects in the presence of higher order tunneling. We see that such effects can result in various kinds of current suppression as well as efficient thermoelectric devices.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Furthermore, the second order von Neumann approach has been developed to enable noise calculations. A thorough investigation of the analytical properties of the approach has also been performed.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The thesis is based on the five papers listed below.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper I deals with the transport measurements of an InSb quantum dot and corresponding simulations. Of special interest was the discovery of a canyon of current suppression observed at the degeneracy of two different spinless dot states.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper II provides a theoretical more detailed description of the phenomena discussed in Paper I.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper III suggests how efficient high-power thermoelectric devices can be constructed using quantum interference of transport through two-level systems.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper IV deals with current blockade effects that can be observed in systems with negative charging energy, e.g. dipolar systems.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Paper V analyzes the virtues of our second order von Neumann formalism in detail.},
  author       = {Karlström, Olov},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-376-1},
  keyword      = {Fysicumarkivet A:2012:Karlström},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {151},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9e9c500)},
  title        = {Effects of Coherence and Correlations on Transport through Nanostructures},
  year         = {2012},
}