Applied Physics

Single-Electron Shuttle

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Science  31 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5535, pp. 1559
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5535.1559b

The ability to transport single electrons in electronic circuits addresses not only energy dissipation issues as the electronics industry looks to fabricate smaller devices, but also presents potential for precision measurement and metrology. Most approaches for fabricating single-electron devices have involved the patterning between source and drain contacts of a small metallic island on which electrons can be added and transported one at a time. However, as the patterned device is fixed, the rate at which the single electrons can be transported is limited.

Now Erbe et al. have added a further degree of freedom combining nanomechanics and electronics to attach the small metallic island to the end of an oscillating clapper. As the clapper oscillates, single electrons can be ferried between the source and drain electrodes. The advantage of this setup is that the frequency of the clapper can be controlled. The device allows transport of single electrons at rates up to 100 MHz. — ISO

Phys. Rev. Lett.87, 096106 (2001).

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