Determination of tunneling charge via current measurements
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud - 91405 Orsay, France, EU
2 Département de Physique Théorique, Université de Genève - CH-1211 Genève 4, Switzerland
Accepted: 8 September 2010
We consider a tunnel junction between two arbitrary non-linear systems in any dimension, which can be different. We show that the tunneling charge can be detected using three alternative methods based on current measurements. Besides being technically easier compared to noise measurements, these methods present valuable advantages: they do not require the knowledge of the underlying models, and some are accessible in the experimentally convenient low-voltage regime, where heating effects are reduced. The first method is based on the AC conductance, while the two others are based on photo-assisted current (PAC) and can be implemented for any time dependence of the tunneling amplitude. These are promising for edge states in the regime of the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE): the Hamiltonian does not have to be specified and can incorporate non-universal interactions between the edges, and it is more convenient to use an AC gate voltage rather than an AC bias. These methods apply for instance to weak barriers in 1-D systems, Superconductor-Insulator-Normal (SIN) or graphene-like structures.
PACS: 73.43.Fj – Novel experimental methods; measurements / 74.50.+r – Tunneling phenomena; Josephson effects / 73.23.-b – Electronic transport in mesoscopic systems
© EPLA, 2010