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Topographic Mapping of the Quantum Hall Liquid Using a Few-Electron Bubble

Science  07 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5476, pp. 90-94
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5476.90

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Abstract

A scanning probe technique was used to obtain a high-resolution map of the random electrostatic potential inside the quantum Hall liquid. A sharp metal tip, scanned above a semiconductor surface, sensed charges in an embedded two-dimensional (2D) electron gas. Under quantum Hall effect conditions, applying a positive voltage to the tip locally enhanced the 2D electron density and created a “bubble” of electrons in an otherwise unoccupied Landau level. As the tip scanned along the sample surface, the bubble followed underneath. The tip sensed the motions of single electrons entering or leaving the bubble in response to changes in the local 2D electrostatic potential.

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