Localization of Fractionally Charged Quasi-Particles

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Science  13 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5686, pp. 980-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099950

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An outstanding question pertaining to the microscopic properties of the fractional quantum Hall effect is understanding the nature of the particles that participate in the localization but that do not contribute to electronic transport. By using a scanning single electron transistor, we imaged the individual localized states in the fractional quantum Hall regime and determined the charge of the localizing particles. Highlighting the symmetry between filling factors 1/3 and 2/3, our measurements show that quasi-particles with fractional charge e* = e/3 localize in space to submicrometer dimensions, where e is the electron charge.

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