Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 5, March 2004
Page(s) 699 - 704
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 01 February 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (5) , pp. 699-704 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10122-3

Principle of a variable capacitor based on Coulomb blockade of nanometric-size clusters

P. Seneor, N. Lidgi, J. Carrey, H. Jaffres, F. Nguyen Van Dau, A. Friederich and A. Fert

Unité mixte de Physique CNRS/THALES - Domaine de Corbeville 91404 Orsay Cedex, France and Université Paris-Sud - 91405 Orsay Cedex, France

(Received 15 August 2003; accepted 4 December 2003)

We show how Coulomb blockade of electrons in a dispersive set of clusters embedded in the dielectric of a capacitor can be used to design a voltage tunable variable capacitor (varactor). We calculate the variation of capacitance for typical size distribution of the clusters and as a function of the dielectric constants of the insulators. We also discuss the temperature and frequency dependence of the capacitor.

73.23.Hk - Coulomb blockade; single-electron tunneling.
84.32.Tt - Capacitors.
84.37.+q - Electric variable measurements (including voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance, impedance, and admittance, etc.).

© EDP Sciences 2004