Experimental Tunneling Ratchets

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Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2314-2317
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2314

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Adiabatically rocked electron ratchets, defined by quantum confinement in semiconductor heterostructures, were experimentally studied in a regime where tunneling contributed to the particle flow. The rocking-induced electron flow reverses direction as a function of temperature. This result confirms a recent prediction of fundamentally different behavior of classical versus quantum ratchets. A wave-mechanical model reproduced the temperature-induced current reversal and provides an intuitive explanation.

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